1. Many eukaryotic cells have multiple linear chromosomes, whereas prokaryotes cells have actually just one one chromosome.

You are watching: How is the dna in a prokaryote different from the dna in a eukaryote

Prokaryotic Chromosome

prokaryotic cells commonly have a single, one chromosome situated in the nucleoid.

Download DNA laboratory Activities

Since prokaryotes cells commonly have only a single, circular chromosome, they have the right to replicate much faster than eukaryotic cells. In fact, a prokaryotes cell deserve to undergo two rounds that DNA replication before the cell, itself, has actually divided. This means that DNA replication can occur throughout cell department in prokaryotes.

Since eukaryotic bio cells commonly have multiple direct chromosomes, capped with telomeres, eukaryotic bio DNA replication and cell department (mitosis and meiosis) space a bit much more complicated. In eukaryotic bio cells, DNA replication occurs before mitosis begins, and it can’t take place while the cabinet is dividing. In addition, the telomeres—repeating DNA sequences at the end of each chromosome—limit the number of times a cell deserve to divide prior to it die or becomes senescent. Each time a usual or somatic eukaryotic bio cell divides, the telomeres get shorter.

2. Eukaryotic bio chromosomes are situated within the nucleus, whereas prokaryotes chromosomes are situated in the nucleoid.


The vital difference between prokaryotic and also eukaryotic cell is that eukaryotic bio cells have actually a membrane-bound cell nucleus (and membrane-bound organelles), whereas prokaryotes cells lack a nucleus. In eukaryotic cells, all the chromosomes are included within the nucleus. In prokaryotes cells, the chromosome is located in a region of the cytoplasm dubbed the nucleoid, i m sorry lacks a membrane.

One interesting implication of this distinction in the place of eukaryotic and prokaryotic chromosomes is the transcription and also translation—the procedures of creating an RNA molecule and using that molecule to synthesize a protein—can happen simultaneously in prokaryotes. This is feasible because prokaryotic cells absence a atom membrane, therefore transcription and also translation happen in the very same region. As the RNA is gift transcribed, ribosom can start the translation procedure of stringing together amino acids. In contrast, in eukaryotic cells, transcription constantly occurs first, and it takes ar within the nucleus. The RNA molecule requirements to experience editing prior to it pipeline the nucleus. Then, translate into is conducted by a ribosomes in the cytoplasm.

3. In eukaryotic bio chromosomes, DNA is wound approximately histone proteins, and then, it is more compacted by supercoiling and also folding. In prokaryotic chromosomes, DNA is supercoiled and also compacted by nucleoid-associated proteins.

Eukaryotic chromosome

eukaryotic bio chromosomes covers DNA strict wound roughly clusters the histone proteins.

Download DNA laboratory Activities

In general, eukaryotic cells save on computer a lot more genetic product than prokaryotic cells. Because that example, each human cell has approximately 2m, or 3 billion base pairs, of DNA that need to be compacted to fit in ~ the nucleus.

In eukaryotic cells, chromatin consists of every the DNA within the nucleus and also its linked proteins, dubbed histones. Eukaryotic bio chromosomes room composed that chromatin, and also each is composed of 2 complementary strands the DNA coiled tightly approximately histones. The framework of chromatin is scaffolded, with three distinct levels. First, the DNA is wrapped roughly clusters that histones, developing nucleosomes that are linked by linker DNA. Then, the connected nucleosomes experience supercoiling. Choose beads top top a string, the associated nucleosomes loop about each other to type 30-nm solenoid fiber. The 30-nm chromatin fiber is compacted also further just before mitosis occurs, and also its coils fold and also compress right into a 250nm-wide fiber.

Prokaryotic cells also have a many DNA, but the molecules don’t should be packaged up quite as tightly together they execute in eukaryotic cells. E. Coli has roughly 1.6mm, or 4 million base pairs, that DNA—compare this come the 2m of DNA within each human cell.

Although most prokaryotic cells don’t usage histones to coil up your DNA, they have actually various proteins and enzymes that present folds to produce a complex, compacted structure.

Here is a straightforward summary that the vital differences in between eukaryotic and also prokaryotic chromosomes.

Eukaryotic ChromosomeProkaryotic Chromosome
LocationNucleusNucleoid (region in cytoplasm)
Storage proteinsHistonesNucleoid-associated proteins
Visible human body BiologyLearn much more

External Sources

An synopsis of chromosome structure and also cell division from Kenyon College.

See more: What Is The Southernmost City In The United States, Southernmost Point Of The Continental Us

Annunziato, A. (2008) “DNA Packaging: Nucleosomes and Chromatin.” Nature Education 1(1):26

Ralston, A. (2008) “Simultaneous gene transcription and also translation in bacteria.” Nature Education 1(1):4



When you pick "Subscribe" you will begin receiving our email newsletter. Use the web links at the bottom of any email to control the kind of emails you obtain or to unsubscribe. Watch our privacy policy for extr details.