Revised Spring 2024 BIO-110: CELLS LAB Instructions for Submission: If an assignment is submitted in

Revised Spring 2024


Instructions for Submission:

If an assignment is submitted incorrectly, you will be contacted via email and the assignment will not be graded unless resubmitted properly. Late penalties may apply; lab assignments may be submitted up to 7 days late.

Type your answers and paste any required pictures directly into this Word document. Submit it via the Blackboard submission link in Word format (docx).

· Answers typed into a blank document or submitted in the other formats will not be accepted.

· If this lab requires pictures, they must be embedded (pasted into the document) and will not be accepted as stand-alone files. Each picture must be at least 3” x 3”.

· Assignments may not be submitted via email without express permission from the instructor.


1. Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

2. Identify the functions of eukaryotic cell structures.

3. Compare the structural components of bacterial cells, plant cells, and animal cells.


A cell is the most basic unit of life. Just as the world’s largest buildings are made of many bricks, the largest organisms – trees, great whales, dinosaurs – are made up of many cells. By contrast, the bodies of some of the world’s most influential organisms, such as bacteria, consist of a single cell.

While cells share some key features, scientists often separate cells into two groups:
prokaryotic cells and
eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotic cells have just one internal compartment. Organisms in domains Bacteria and Archaea are prokaryotic. Prokaryotic organisms are unicellular – in other words, each individual is made up of just one cell.

Eukaryotic cells have multiple internal compartments called
organelles, each with its own membrane. All organisms in domain Eukarya have eukaryotic cells. These organisms may be unicellular, like protists and some fungi, or multicellular (made of many cells) like plants and animals.

In this lab you will become familiar with the key structures (parts) of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and compare the similarities and differences of these two types of cells. Follow the Instructions to complete parts A-D below, then submit this document.


Part A: Prokaryotic cells

Use your textbook to investigate the questions below. Then answer in your own words
(2 points each).

1. Describe the location of each part of the prokaryotic cell envelope from outermost to innermost. You must mention the
cell membrane,
cell wall, and the
glycocalyx (or capsule) to receive full credit.

2. Describe the role of the following internal components of prokaryotic cells:
plasmid, cytoplasm, nucleoid region, and

3. Describe the role of the following external components of prokaryotic cells:
cellular membrane, fimbriae, flagellum,
cell wall, and
glycocalyx (or capsule).

4. Antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, and cefaclor target peptidoglycan synthesis. This inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis and results in lysis. Why doesn’t this harm human cells, too (disregarding an allergic response)?

5. Although Bacteria and Archaea are both prokaryotes (non-nucleated), they don’t occupy the same taxonomic domain. Describe at least three characteristics that distinguish them from one another.

6. Arrange the following object from smallest (
first) to largest (
bacterium, animal cell, and virus.

Part B: Eukaryotic Cells

Use your textbook to investigate the following questions. Then answer in your own words
(2 points each).

7. Describe the structure and function of the eukaryotic nucleus and its nucleolus

8. Describe the roles of the smooth ER and rough ER. What structure is found on the rough ER that is not found on the smooth ER?

9. What is the function of the Golgi apparatus?

10. How do each of the following organelles contribute to cellular metabolism and nutrient cycling:
lysosomes, peroxisomes, and

11. Describe the structure and function of the eukaryotic chloroplast. Don’t forget to reference thylakoid!

12. Describe the structure and function of the eukaryotic mitochondrion. Don’t forget to reference cristae!

13. What structure takes up the majority of the center space within the plant cell? What is its primary function?

14. What is the function of the cytoskeleton, what are the three cytoskeletal fibers, and what do they do?

15. Distinguish cilia from flagella.

16. Describe the endosymbiotic theory in your own words.

17. Explain the evidence that suggests chloroplasts and mitochondria were once independently living prokaryotes.

18. What organelle gives a plant cell gives its green color? What key process occurs inside this organelle?

19. Are plant cells more closely related to animal cells or bacterial cells? Explain.

20. Why aren’t lysosomes found within plant cells? How do plant cells acquire food?

Part C: Comparing Cells

Use what you know about each type of cell (reference pictures if needed) to describe the parts of bacterial cells, plant cells, and animal cells. Place a “Y” in the box if the cell has that structure. Place a “N” in the box if the cell lacks that structure
(1 point per box).

Table 1. Comparing Cellular Content of Bacterial, Plant, and Animal Cells

Cellular Structure or Associated Feature


Plant Cell

Animal Cell

Cell Wall with Peptidoglycan




Cell Wall with Cellulose




Endoplasmic Reticulum (Smooth and Rough)




Golgi Apparatus




Cellular Membrane
























Part D: Constructing a Cellular Model

Use what you have learned in this activity to build an innovative eukaryotic cell model. Your model can reflect either an animal cell or a plant cell (not both). Your model must include the following structures (with labels) to receive full credit: cell wall (plant only), smooth ER, rough ER, Golgi apparatus, plasma membrane, ribosome, nucleus, nucleolus, chloroplast (plant only), central vacuole (plant only), mitochondria, lysosome (animal only). Once you’ve constructed your cell, then
upload a “selfie” with you and your work in the section provided below. Here are a few creative options
(30 points). Edible Cell Model (optional)
Edible Cell (link opens a new window)

1. Lego Cell (optional)
Lego Cell (link opens a new window)

2. Cookie Science:
Edible Cell Project: Chocolate Chip Cookie Science (link opens a new window)

3. Clay Cell Model:
How to Make a Clay Cell Model ((link opens a new window))

4. 3D Cell Model: You would use a foam craft ball with foam dots and craft sheets for organelles

If you cannot build a cell with craft supplies, then you can draw one instead. Students are welcome to use pens, pencils, or creative software (i.e. Microsoft Paint).
DO NOT DIRECTLY COPY AND PASTE AN EXAMPLE FROM ANOTHER SOURCE. Students that upload a previously published model will not receive credit for this activity. Have fun and be original!
Please just draw a model for this part of the assignment and I will use my picture to make it work.

Paste your picture from Part E beneath this sentence. Below each image you must type a caption with a Figure number and a short description of the image. The caption should reference everything within the photograph (Figure One: Name and Description of Cellular model).

Grading Rubric:

Prokaryotic Structure Assessment: 0 – 12

Each question is worth 2% credit. A student that accurately answers all six questions would receive full credit.

Eukaryotic Structure Assessment: 0 – 28

Each question is worth 2% credit. A student that accurately answers all 14 questions would receive full credit.

Cellular Comparison: 0 – 30

Each question is worth 1% credit. A student that accurately answers all 30 questions would receive full credit.

Cellular Model: 0 – 30

Student failed upload a selfie with his/her own innovative model = 0 points.

Student built an incomplete model. This could include missing organelles or descriptive labels = 10 points.

Student built a model, but it has a few missing parts. This could include missing organelles, misspellings, or a lack of labels. = 20 points.

Student built an innovative cellular model. This model has every required organelle and every structure is labeled. Also, the student is clearly photographed with his/her own work = 30 points.

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