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Difference Between Nucleus and Nucleolus

Nucleus vs Nucleolus

Every organism has the most basic component of life, which is the cell, and in almost all cells there is the nucleus. The nucleus is found in all multi-celled organisms. The nucleus supports the most essential functions in the cell to support the life of an individual. Cells also have a nucleolus which is also a basic component for cells. Without the nucleolus, it would be difficult for an organism to function properly. There are a few differences between the nucleus and nucleolus. To better differentiate the two parts of the cell, we should consider the functions, structures, and other features of these cellular organelles.

Basically, the nucleolus is just a part of the nucleus. The nucleus is the main part of the cell while the nucleolus is part of the nucleus itself. The nucleus is a membrane-bound organelle that is found in multi-celled organisms or eukaryotes. This membrane that encloses the nucleus has two parts. The parts of the membrane are the inner and outer cellular membrane. The cellular membrane is meant to separate the genetic material found in the nucleus from the cytoplasm that surrounds it. The cellular membrane also prevents the macromolecules from freely diffusing between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm. On the other hand, the nucleolus is a non-membrane enclosed organelle.

The nucleus stores most of the cell’s DNA which is responsible for carrying genetic information. Added to that, the nucleus ensures that the genetic information in the DNA would be in an ideal condition so there would be a healthy reproduction of cells. Moreover, the nucleus is also responsible for generating genetic expression to monitor the proper activities of the entire cell. Meanwhile, the nucleolus is responsible for another essential function for the entire cell. The nucleolus is responsible for the collection and transcription of RNA, particularly the ribosomal nucleic acid or rRNA. Moreover, the nucleolus is responsible for the synthesis of ribosome which is essential to perform activities in the entire cell. Given that the nucleus is somewhat the mother of the nucleolus, the nucleus is also able to do the same action. However, it focuses more on storing DNA and preserving the chromosomes inside of it.

And speaking of chromosomes, the nucleus is the organelle that contains the chromosomes for cell reproduction. Meanwhile, the nucleolus is a dense, strained structure inside of the nucleus that contains ribosome. Although the nucleolus is just somewhat a sub-organelle of the nucleus, the nucleolus still has three main regions. The first region is the fibrillar centers. This region is usually where the transcription of rDNA takes place. Surrounding the fibrillar centers are the dense fibrillar centers. This is where the modification and cleavage of rRNA happens. The dense, fibrillar centers are then bounded by the granular component. The granular component is where the assembly of protein going to the ribosomal sub-units happens.


1.The nucleus is the main organelle while the nucleolus is the sub-organelle.

2.The nucleus is membrane bound while the nucleolus is non-membrane bound.

3.The nucleus contains DNA while the nucleolus contains RNA.

4.The nucleus has the chromosomes and cellular membranes while the RNA has the fibrillar centers, dense fibrillar centers, and the granular component.

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  1. I think there is a typo in the last sentence of this. “The nucleus has the chromosomes and cellular membranes while the *RNA* has the fibrillar centers, dense fibrillar centers, and the granular component.”
    I believe “RNA” should read “nucleolus”.
    The rest is great- thanks for the information.

  2. This makes me feel very warm and fuzzy also i LOVE that last sentence

  3. Ya its very useful

  4. I am a substitute teacher here in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. This is a good site for students in grade 9 and up. It definitely supplements what is taught in our schools and a good review.

  5. The definition is vivid

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