The key difference between protoplast and heterokaryon is that the protoplast is a wall-less plant cell while heterokaryon is a cell that contains two or more nuclei of different origins or in different states inside a common cytoplasm.
Protoplast and heterokaryon are two different types of cells that are useful in studies of plant tissue culture and cell biology respectively. Protoplast is a plant cell. But it does not have a cell wall since it has been removed enzymatically or mechanically. On the other hand, heterokaryon is a multinucleated cell. It consists of two or more different nuclei.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Protoplast
3. What is Heterokaryon
4. Similarities Between Protoplast and Heterokaryon
5. Side by Side Comparison – Protoplast vs Heterokaryon in Tabular Form
What is Protoplast?
Protoplast is a plant cell that lacks a cell wall. We can produce these cells by artificial plasmolyzation of cells. Once they are made, they become very fragile. It is due to the absence of a rigid cell wall. In order to isolate protoplasts, it is necessary to follow mechanical or enzymatic procedures. In comparison to mechanical isolation, enzymatic isolation is safe, and it removes the cell wall without damaging the protoplast.
Furthermore, fragility varies among the protoplasts depending on the growing conditions of the plants, season of the year, time of the day and the age of the plant part chosen. After isolating the protoplasts, they can be cultured and regenerated into plantlets, and finally, can be converted into a new plant. Hence, protoplasts are used in producing genetically modified or transgenic plants.
What is Heterokaryon?
Heterokaryon is a cell that contains two or more nuclei of different origin in one cytoplasm. These cells result due to the fusion of two genetically different cells. Hence in order to make a heterokaryon, two cells should come closer and contact with each other. Once they contact each other, their plasma membranes fuse with each other and convert into a single cell that has a common cytoplasm. Eventually, this cytoplasm contains both the donor nuclei.
Heterokaryon formation is commonly visible in fungi during the sexual reproduction. Basically, it provides a genetic variation to the mycelium. Though heterokaryons are unusual cells, their analysis is important to determine nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions and to study the influence of cytoplasmic factors on the gene expressions.
What are the Similarities Between Protoplast and Heterokaryon?
- Protoplast and heterokaryon are cells.
- Both are important in many studying areas.
- Especially, both are used to produce genetically modified cells.
What is the Difference Between Protoplast and Heterokaryon?
Protoplast and heterokaryon are two types of cells. Protoplast does not contain a cell wall. It can be a wall-less plant cell or a fungal cell or a bacterial cell. Once the cell wall removes, protoplast becomes more fragile. On the other hand, heterokaryon is a cell, especially a fungal cell that contains two or more genetically different nuclei. Therefore, this is the key difference between protoplast and heterokaryon.
Moreover, we can produce the protoplasts by artificial plasmolyzation of plant cells. Whereas, heterokaryon is a special cell that appears during the sexual reproduction of fungi. Hence, we can consider this also as a difference between protoplast and heterokaryon. Furthermore, based on the importance too, we can note a difference between protoplast and heterokaryon. That is; the uses of protoplast are in producing genetically modified plants, plant tissue culture, and in the analysis of membrane bioogy while, a use of heterokaryon is in the sexual reproduction of fungi.
Summary – Protoplast vs Heterokaryon
Protoplast is mainly a plant cell without the cell wall. Using an enzymatic degradation or mechanical method, the cell wall of the cell is removed without damaging the interior of the cell. Moreover, protoplast also refers to fungal or bacterial cell without the cell walls. On the other hand, heterokaryon is a cell that consists of two or more nuclei within a common cytoplasm. Thus, this is the difference between protoplast and heterokaryon.