A cell lacking a membrane-bounded nucleus
or membrane-bounded organelles. Prokaryotic
cells are thus more primitive than eukaryotic
cells, which evolved from them. A prokaryotic
organism, such as a bacterium, consists
of single prokaryotic cell.
| Generalized prokaryotic cell. Image:
Sinauer Associates, Inc
A general prokaryotic cell can be considered to have three architectural
regions, though not all the components are always present:
In a prokaryotic cell, most of the functions of organelles, such as mitochondria,
chloroplasts, and the Golgi
apparatus, are taken over by the prokaryotic cell membrane.