There are two types of cell which are eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. It is important to remember that only eukaryotic cells have a nucleus. The prokaryotic cell lacks a nucleus.
Cell’s nucleus is the main control centre of any cell. This can be a plant cell or an animal cell. It acts like the brain and controls the cell’s growth and reproduction. It also contains all the genetic information of any organism inside it.
The nucleus is surrounded by a membrane which protects it, and it usually occupies 10% of the cell volume.
It was given its name by a Scottish Botanist called Robert Brown.
A normal mammalian cell nucleus is 10 microns in size.
The location of the cell nucleus is different in animal and plant cells. In animal cells, the nucleus is usually found in the centre of the cell. But in plant cells, the nucleus is found at the periphery.
STRUCTURE OF CELL NUCLEUS
The cell nucleus is surrounded by a nuclear membrane which protects it. Inside it has chromosomes, nucleolus and cytoplasm. The chromosomes contain all the genetic material in them.
The shape of cell’s nucleus is spherical.
FUNCTION OF CELL NUCLEUS
There are two basic functions of a cell nucleus.
- It stores all the genetic information or the DNA. The DNA is organised into structures called the chromosomes. The small section of DNA is called genes which contain all the hereditary information such as eye colour or height.
- It controls all the activities of the cell including growth, reproduction, ageing and metabolism.
It is important to note that the nucleus is the first cell organelle to be discovered by scientists.