Difference Between Nucleus and Nucleoid (With Table)

A Nucleus and a Nucleoid are genetic structures in which the genetic information gets incorporated into the genetic material. They are both areas in a living organism that controls the inheritance and cellular functions. They also have a similar genetic material, DNA. Although the Nucleus and Nucleoid have some similarities, they differ from each other in many ways. 

Nucleus vs Nucleoid 

The difference between Nucleus and Nucleoid is that- Nucleus is a cell organelle responsible for storing and housing the genetic material of eukaryotic cells in the DNA, whereas the genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid. 

The Nucleus is the most extensive and most vital membrane-bound cell organelle within a eukaryotic cell. The genetic material of the eukaryotic cells is stored and housed in DNA by Nucleus. The Nucleus is large and contains numerous chromosomes. It is a well-organized, spherically shaped organelle surrounded by a double layer membrane called the nuclear membrane. DNA, RNA, enzymes, dissolved ions, and other subnuclear bodies make up most of the Nucleus. 

The unevenly shaped region containing the genetic material of the prokaryotic cell is known as the Nucleoid. The genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid. The Nucleoid is small and contains a single chromosome. It is a poorly organized, irregularly shaped organelle lacking a protective membrane. DNA, RNA, enzymes, and other proteins make up most of a Nucleoid. 

Comparison Table Between Nucleus and Nucleoid 

  Parameters of Comparison    Nucleus  Nucleoid 
  Definition    The Nucleus is the most extensive and most vital membrane-bound cell organelle within a eukaryotic cell.   The unevenly shaped region containing the genetic material of the prokaryotic cell is known as the Nucleoid.  
 Shape    Spherical shaped.  Is irregular and uneven in shape. 
 Size    Is large in size.  Is small in size. 
 Arrangement    Well-organized.  Poorly organized. 
 Role   The genetic material of the eukaryotic cells is stored and housed in DNA by Nucleus.     The genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid 
 Chromosome   Contains numerous chromosomes.  Contains a single chromosome, that is the circular DNA molecule.  
 Membrane   A double-layered nuclear membrane surrounds the nucleus.   Does not possess a protective membrane. 

What is Nucleus? 

The Nucleus is the most extensive and most vital membrane-bound cell organelle within a eukaryotic cell. The genetic material of the eukaryotic cells is stored and housed in DNA by Nucleus.   

It is separated from other organelles within the cell by a double-layered nuclear membrane. DNA, RNA, enzymes, dissolved ions, and other subnuclear bodies make up most of the Nucleus. 

The spherical-shaped Nucleus is large and contains numerous chromosomes. It is also well-organized and has Nucleoplasm and Nucleolus present. The Nucleus coordinates cellular activities like growth and reproduction.   

What is Nucleoid? 

The unevenly shaped region containing the genetic material of the prokaryotic cell is known as the Nucleoid. The genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid. 

The Nucleoid does not possess a protective membrane. Consequently, it is not separated from the rest of the prokaryotic components. DNA, RNA, enzymes, and other proteins make up most of a Nucleoid. They are uneven and irregular in shape and contain a single chromosome, that is, the circular DNA molecule.   

The irregular-shaped Nucleoid is poorly organized and is small in size. There is an absence of Nucleoplasm and Nucleolus in a Nucleoid.   

Main Differences Between a Nucleus and Nucleoid 

  1. The Nucleus is the most extensive and most vital membrane-bound cell organelle within a eukaryotic cell, whereas the unevenly shaped region containing the genetic material of the prokaryotic cell is known as the Nucleoid.  
  2. The genetic material of the eukaryotic cells is stored and housed in DNA by Nucleus, whereas the genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid. 
  3. The nucleus has a spherical shape, whereas, Nucleoid has an irregular and uneven shape.  
  4. The nucleus contains numerous chromosomes, whereas the Nucleoid consists of a single chromosome, that is, the circular DNA molecule.  
  5. The nucleus is surrounded by a double layer nuclear membrane, whereas, Nucleoid does not possess a protective membrane.  
  6. As opposed to nucleoids, which are small and poorly organized, the nucleus is large and well-organized.    
  7. The nucleus is separated from other organelles within the cell by a double-layered nuclear membrane. On the other hand, Nucleoid does not possess a protective membrane. Consequently, it is not separated from the rest of the prokaryotic components. 

Conclusion 

A Nucleus and a Nucleoid are genetic structures in which the genetic information gets incorporated into the genetic material. They are both areas in a living organism that controls the inheritance and cellular functions. They also have a similar genetic material, DNA. Although the Nucleus and Nucleoid have some similarities, they differ from each other in many ways.  

The Nucleus is the most extensive and most vital membrane-bound cell organelle within a eukaryotic cell. The Nucleus is large and contains numerous chromosomes. It is a well-organized, spherically shaped organelle. It is separated from other organelles within the eukaryotic cell by a double-layered nuclear membrane. 

The unevenly shaped region containing the genetic material of the prokaryotic cell is known as the Nucleoid. The Nucleoid is small and contains a single chromosome- the circular DNA molecule. It is a poorly organized, irregularly shaped organelle lacking a protective membrane. Consequently, it is not separated from the rest of the prokaryotic components. 

The main difference between a Nucleus and a Nucleoid is that they have different roles and functions. While a Nucleus is responsible for storing and homing the genetic material eukaryotic cell in the DNA, the genetic material of the prokaryotes is stored and homed in the cytoplasm by the Nucleoid. 

References 

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mmi.12404 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1874939911002100 
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