Q:

What is a nucleoid?

A:

Quick Answer

A nucleoid is the part of a prokaryote, or single-celled organism, where genetic material for the cell is contained. Prokaryotes do not contain true nuclei or even organelles. Therefore, the genetic material for the organism exists in the nucleoid, which is a region in the cell without a membrane enclosing it.

  Know More

Full Answer

According to How Stuff Works, nucleoids exist only in the oldest of organisms: the prokaryote. This organism only has one cell, which has no nucleus or organelles. While eukaryotes have a distinct nucleus where genetic material is replicated and surrounded by a protective membrane, prokaryotes only have the nucleoid, a region in the cell where the replication takes place and genetic material is found.

The genetic material of a prokaryote is called the genophore. The genophore has neither chromatin nor telomeres to support it during replication. Instead, it is compacted through a supercoiling mechanism into a circular shape. However, prokaryotes have cell walls, much like plants, and also have ribosomes and plasmids as seen in eukaryotic cells.

Prokaryotes are prmarily either bacteria or archaeans, a bacteria-like organism that is supposedly the link between bacteria and eukaryotes. Prokaryotes can survive in very inclement conditions, such as hydrothermal vents and hot springs.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is genetic material organized in a prokaryotic cell?

    A:

    As opposed to eukaryotic cells, which contain their genetic material inside a nucleus, prokaryotic cells allow their genetic material to float in the cell’s cytoplasm. In fact, prokaryotic cells lack any internal, membrane-bound organelles. While both types of cells use DNA as their primary genetic material, prokaryotes arrange their DNA in a simple circle, as opposed to bundling it into several chromosomes, as eukaryotes do.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the nucleolus do in a cell?

    A:

    The nucleolus of a cell is part of the production of ribosomes and contains the cell's RNA, one of the vital building blocks that tells the cell what it is. Ribosomes generate proteins that are needed for the basic functions of living cells. Cells have a roughly spherical shape, which coincides with the rounded shape of the nucleolus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes cell division?

    A:

    Cell division is part of the cell cycle, and it is caused either by binary fission or as part of a multiple-phase cycle. Binary fission is the method by which prokaryotic cells divide. Eukaryotic cells use the three-phase cycle commonly referred to as mitosis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which part of the cell contains genetic information?

    A:

    The nucleus is the part of the cell that contains most of the genetic information found in cells. Genetic information is stored within a DNA molecule, tightly wound into a structure known as a chromosome. A tiny amount of genetic information is found in the mitochondria, outside of the nucleus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore