The nucleus forms the core of every cell that exists. We know that it is an essential part of the animal cell. So, is the nucleus found in plant cells too?
Do plant cells have a nucleus?
Yes, plant cells do have a nucleus. The nucleus plays an important role in plant cells. It functions as the administrative center of the cells. It also stores the hereditary material or DNA of the cell.
So, let us explore more about the importance and functions of the nucleus in a plant cell.
The nucleus is a highly specialized organelle present in the plant cell. It can come in varied shapes and sizes according to the type of plant or tissue. The nucleus controls the activities of the cell and also stores the DNA or hereditary genetic material of the plant. It makes it one of the most important parts of the plant cell. It serves as both the administrative center as well as the information center of the cell. It houses the genetic code, which is important for the determination of the amino acid sequence for protein synthesis.
The nucleus is spherical and occupies about 10% of the cell’s volume. Due to this, it is the most prominent structure of the nucleus. Most of the nucleus consists of chromatin, which is essentially unstructured DNA that forms chromosomes during cell division. The nucleus also has a nucleolus that is composed of RNA. A double-layered membrane, called the nuclear membrane, separates the contents of the nucleus from the cellular cytoplasm. The nuclear envelope consists of several holes that allow selective types and sizes of molecules to pass back and forth between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
Two types of chromatin are present within the nucleus. One is the euchromatin, which consists of the active DNA, and the other is the heterochromatin, which consists of the inactive DNA. The chromatin starts to turn to chromosomes during cell division. The chromosomes start to replicate rapidly, and eventually, as the plant cell separates into two, each has its own set of identical chromosomes.
The nucleolus appears as a black spot in the nucleus. The functions of the nucleolus include assembling ribosomes, alteration of transfer DNA, and sensing cellular stress. It is one of the main components of the nucleus. It is composed of RNA, DNA, and proteins. During the process of cell division, the nucleolus disappears. It reappears in both the cells once the division is completed.
The nuclear envelope is a double-layered membrane that separates the contents of the nucleus from the cellular cytoplasm. It consists of several holes which are called nuclear pores, and they regulate the exchange of molecules. The nuclear pores allow only specific types and sizes of molecules to pass through them and prevent larger molecules from entering the nucleus. During cell division, the nuclear envelope disintegrates and is reformed once the division is complete.
Thus, we can see that plant cells do have a nucleus.