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Eukaryotes are organisms whose cells contain a nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles. There is a wide range of eukaryotic organisms, including all animals, plants, fungi, and protists, as well as most algae. Eukaryotes may be either single-celled or multicellular. Eukaryotes are differentiated from another class of organisms called prokaryotes by way of the presence of internal membranes that separate parts of the eukaryotic cell from the rest of the cytoplasm. These membrane-bound structures are called organelles.

In eukaryotes, the cell's genetic material, or DNA, is contained within an organelle called the nucleus, where it is organized in long molecules called chromosomes. Eukaryotic cells also contain other organelles, including mitochondria, which generate energy; the endoplasmic reticulum, which plays a role in the transport of proteins; and the Golgi apparatus, which sorts and packages proteins and lipids for transport throughout the cell. Plant cells additionally contain organelles called chloroplasts, which are used to collect energy from sunlight.

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