Ultrastructure of cells 1.2

Eukaryote cells are larger than prokaryote cells and they have a more compartmentalised structure since endosymbiosis led to the creation of organelles. There are two basic types to  draw, eukaryote and prokaryote cells. In this topic it's important to be able to recognise organelles in cells and to suggest cell functions depending upon cell structure.

Key concepts

Learn and test your biological vocabulary for 1.2 Ultrastructure of cells using these flash cards.


These slides summarise the essential understanding and skills in this topic. 
They contain short explanations in text and images - good revision for all students.

Read the slides and look up any words or details you find difficult to understand.

Stretch for 7

These slides cover difficult parts of this topic - important if you are aiming for a high grade.
If grade 5 is your target, then save time, move on, study this information later, once you have revised the other topics.


Summary list for topic 1.2 Ultrastructure of cells

  • Know and be able to draw the simple structure of Prokaryote cells
  • Know and draw the compartmentalised structure of Eukaryotic cells.
  • Understand that the resolving power of electron microscopes is between 10µm and 1nm
    whereas light microscopes resolve details between 1mm and 1µm.

Skills and applications

  • Ability to identify organelles from microscope images of cells.
  • Ability to explain how the composition of organelles will be different in cells with different functions,
    (e.g. goblet cells which make mucus and palisade mesophyll cells which do photosynthesis).
  • Explain how the structure of prokaryotes allows them to divide by binary fission. 


This diagram summaries the main sections of topic 1.2 Cell ultrastructure.
Test if you can draw your own list or concept map from memory.


Exam style questions

Video tutorials

How to draw a eukaryote animal cell diagram quickly in an exam.

How to draw a eukaryote animal cell in an exam. From David Faure on Vimeo.

How to identify organelles in electron microscope images and to explain how the structures relate to the cell's function.

Interpreting electron microscope images from David Faure on Vimeo.

This video help students to identify organelles and to make the link between cell structure and function.

Extra exam question

More questions coming soon.

Test yourself

This self marking multiple choice quiz contains questions covering the topic.


Just for fun

Try this matching flashcards game.
If you can't see the content below, please click this link Ultrastructure of cells Quizlet matching game.

Alternatively try this Arcade game to practise the basics. Arcade game "Ultrastructure of cells".