Study Guide

Eukaryotes Terms

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Eukaryotes Terms


The Animal Kingdom. Simba's homeland and a group of multicellular heterotrophic eukaryotes that go through a blastula stage of development.


Organisms that know how to cook for themselves, otherwise known as organisms that can make their own food from sunlight, or from other chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen sulfide.


An early stage in animal development. After an egg is fertilized, the single cell that results (a zygote) begins to divide. At first, it is a solid ball of cells. Then it becomes a hollow sphere as the inside becomes filled with fluid (a.k.a. blastocoel). This hollow sphere of cells is the blastula. Its next stage of development is gastrulation. In mammals, the blastula is a little bit different and is called a blastocyst.

Cambrian Explosion

During the Cambrian Era, the number of eukaryotes "exploded" in number and diversity

Cell wall

The cell wall is the protective layer that surrounds cells. A bacterial cell wall is composed of peptidoglycan, while archaeal and eukaryotic cells, which have cells walls, used different materials.

Cellular Respiration

The thrilling, breath-taking process that brought you to this module. Cellular respiration is a way of extracting energy from food and making it useful to the cell. Cellular respiration involves a lot of oxidation and reduction reactions. Nuff said.


Cellulose is a major structural material in plant cell walls. It is a complex material made up of a lot of individual glucose (or sugar) molecules.


A polymer of glucose derivatives that can be found in the cell walls of fungi and the exoskeletons of animals in the phylum arthropoda.


The green organelle that works closely with leprechauns to perform photosynthesis in eukaryotes...or at least the green organelle that performs photosynthesis.


(singular: cilium) Medusa-like projections, composed of microtubules in a "9 plus 2" arrangement (9 pairs in a circle surrounding 2 more microtubules) that move fluid around a cell. Prokaryotes have them too, but the "hair" is totally different.


What a cell hangs up as a glow-in-the-dark Halloween decoration. Also, the support system of the cell that forms structures important for movement such as flagella and pseudopodia.


A clade of animals that share a similar pattern of development in which the blastopore becomes the anus of the adult organism. This group contains the Phyla Echinodermata, Hemichordata, and Chordata. Contrast the deuterostomes with the protostomes.

Endosymbiotic theory

The theory that describes how some organelles, such as mitochondria and chloroplasts, originated as free-living bacteria that craved the protection and extra wiggle room of a larger cell.


Cells with all the bells and whistles—a membrane bound nucleus and other organelles


The whip-like tail that a sperm has. This powerful engine propels the sperm over huge distances.


A type of organism that spreads by sporulation. It is a member of the Eukarya domain. Yeasts and molds are examples of fungi.


Organisms that can't cook, and may not even be able to microwave. These cells need to eat other organisms or already-prepared organic matter to survive.


Hyphives are the fungal version of a "You rock!" Hyphae are the fungal versions of roots that are the site of nutrient absorption.


A component of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton that also structures flagella and cilia. Composed of a lucky 13 chains of alpha and beta tubulin dimers rolled up to look like a tiny hollow toilet paper roll.


The site of eukaryotic cellular respiration, where the cell makes all its ATP. Mitochondria evolved from previously free-living bacteria that developed a symbiotic relationship with a larger cell.

Model Organism

Any non-human species (well, usually) that is used to study disease, genetics, or development without having to worry about keeping a cage full of Uncle Al clones. Model organisms are usually chosen because their genes are easy to manipulate, reproduce quickly, and don't stage riots.


An organism composed of many cells


Also known as a non-coding RNA, an RNA that doesn't code for a protein or any secret espionage info


A rod-shaped structure that forms during chordate embryonic development. This distinguishes the chordate phylum from the other phyla in the animal kingdom.


The hallmark of a eukaryotic cell, where the majority of the DNA is housed and replication and transcription of this DNA takes place.


An organelle is a cellular compartment. Organelles are a hallmark of eukaryotes; they are non-existent in prokaryotes.


The process that converts sunlight and water into food, fixing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be made into sugars. In eukaryotes, this happens within a chloroplast.


The eukaryotic kingdom that includes photosynthetic organisms that reproduce by alteration of generations, switching between the production of spores and gametes like alternating red and black on a checkerboard.


If you're not a eukaryote, you're a prokaryote…although, if you're a prokaryote, you're probably not reading this. Prokaryotes don't have membrane bound organelles, nuclei, or eyes.


The kingdom of all the leftover eukaryotes. That's not a bad thing. We very often look forward to our leftovers. Mmmm. They are "usually" the simpler cells, and the first eukaryotes on Earth.


Animals whose mouths develop from the first hole (blastopore) created during the early development of the embryo. Compare them to deuterostomes.


Who needs real feet when you have fake feet? Pseupodia is greek for "fake feet." These are temporary cell membrane extensions that some protists use to move towards something appetizing, or simply sashay across the dance floor.


The tiny little cell structure that performs translation, or protein synthesis. It exists in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes, but prokaryotic ribosomes are a little smaller than their fellow eukaryotic translators.


(singular: septum) In fungi, division between hyphae cells of "septate hyphae" that still have small take-out windows to allow nutrients, like burgers and fries, to be passed between hyphae cells


A defining characteristic of the animal phylum. It can be either radial, where you could cut up an organism like slicing a pie and get equal parts, or bilateral, where you could fold an organism in half and get identical parts.


A group of cells that function together in some way.


Organisms made of only one, lonely ole' cell—or one independent, self-sufficient cell. Depends on how you look at it.

Roots of Common Terms in Eukaryotes


L = Latin; G = Greek


(G) autos = Self, (G) trophe = nourishing


(G) chloros = Green (G) plastis = the one who forms


(L) Cilia = eyelash


(G) endon = within (G) syn = together (G) biosis = living


(G) eu = good (G) karyon = kernel


(G) heteros = another (G) trophe = nourishing


(L) multus = many


(L) nucleus = kernel


(L) organula = little organ


(G) photo = light (G) synthesis = putting together


(G) pro = before (G) Karyon = kernel


(G) pseudo = fake (G) podia = Feet


(L) Uni = one

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