The key difference between genetic material of prokaryotes and eukaryotes is that genetic material of prokaryotes floats in the cytoplasm since they do not have a nucleus while the genetic material of eukaryotes resides inside the nucleus. Another important difference between is that the prokaryotes have a small genome and contain plasmids. They also have a large coiled double-stranded circular chromosome whereas, eukaryotes have a larger genome and do not possess plasmids.
Prokaryotes and eukaryotes are two types of organisms. Bacteria and Archaea are prokaryotes. Prokaryotes have a simple cellular organization. They do not have a nucleus and true organelles. On the other hand, eukaryotes have a complex cellular organization with a membrane-bound nucleus and true organelles. Fungi, protists, plants, and animals are eukaryotes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Genetic Material of Prokaryotes
3. What is Genetic Material of Eukaryotes
4. Similarities Between Genetic Material of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
5. Side by Side Comparison – Genetic Material of Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes in Tabular Form
What is Genetic Material of Prokaryotes?
Prokaryotes are the organisms that do not have a nucleus. They are single-celled. Hence they have a simple cell organization. Furthermore, they don’t have true cell organelles. The genetic material of prokaryotes floats in the cytoplasm.
Bacteria have a large circular chromosome which is highly coiled. They also possess extra-chromosomal DNA known as plasmids. Plasmids are not necessary for their day to day survival. But they contain important genes such as antibiotic-resistant genes, pesticide resistance genes, etc. In addition, these DNA molecules are small in size and are able to self-replicate. Due to these properties, they serve as very valuable vectors in recombinant DNA technology and cloning.
What is Genetic Material of Eukaryotes?
Eukaryotes are organisms that possess a nucleus and true organelles in their cells. Fungi, protists, plants, and animals are eukaryotes. Their genetic material is located inside the membrane-bound nucleus. Hence, eukaryotic DNA is not found freely in the cytoplasm, unlike prokaryotic DNA.
The eukaryotic genetic material is linear and wrapped around proteins called histones. It contains many sequences which are non-coding. Moreover, eukaryotic genes do not transcribe together. They transcribe separately and make their own mRNA molecules. One promoter regulates the transcription of one gene in eukaryotes.
What are the Similarities Between Genetic Material of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes?
- The genetic material of prokaryotes and eukaryotes are made up of DNA molecules.
- They contain double-stranded DNA build by four nucleotides.
- Both types of genetic material contain genes.
What is the Difference Between Genetic Material of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes?
DNA which resides in the cytoplasm of a prokaryotic cell is known as the genetic material of a prokaryote. In contrast, DNA which resides inside the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell is known as the genetic material of a eukaryote. Further, prokaryotes have a small genome and contain plasmids. They also have a large coiled double-stranded circular chromosome. Eukaryotes, however, have a larger genome and do not possess plasmids. They also have multiple linear molecules of double-stranded DNA.
Prokaryotic DNA is much compacted than eukaryotic DNA. Moreover, eukaryotic genetic material contains more non-coding DNA in and between genes. Also, prokaryotic genes transcribe together to form a single mRNA molecule since they are located within an operon. However, eukaryotic genes transcribe separately and independently since they do not possess operons. In addition, prokaryotic DNA wraps around HU proteins while eukaryotic DNA wraps around histone proteins.
Summary – Genetic Material of Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes
Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells are two types of cells. Prokaryotes have prokaryotic cells. They are single-celled organisms. On the other hand, eukaryotes have eukaryotic cells, which are multicellular. The difference between genetic material of prokaryotes and eukaryotes lies in the absence of a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Prokaryotic DNA freely floats in the cytoplasm unlike to eukaryotic DNA which resides inside the membrane-bound nucleus. Prokaryotes have a single large circular chromosome. Eukaryotes have multiple linear chromosomes.
“Bacterial DNA – the Role of Plasmids.” Science Learning Hub, Available here.