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The Nucleus. By Meredith Derecho, Elizabeth Eyermann , and Hannah Woolf. Source 3. Key Facts About Nuclei. “The nucleus is the genetic control center of a eukaryotic cell” (Source 5) Only eukaryotic cells have a nucleus—prokaryotic cells do not. Source 5.

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The nucleus

The Nucleus

By Meredith Derecho, Elizabeth Eyermann, and Hannah Woolf

Source 3

Key Facts About Nuclei

  • “The nucleus is the genetic control center of a eukaryotic cell” (Source 5)

  • Only eukaryotic cells have a nucleus—prokaryotic cells do not

Source 5

  • The word “nucleus” comes from the Latin word “nucula” meaning “little nut” (Source 6)

  • Some eukaryotic cells have multiple nuclei or none at all

  • The nucleus is near the center of the cell, and it takes up about 10% of a cell’s mass

Structure of the Nucleus

The nucleus has three main components:

The Nuclear Envelope

The Chromatin

The Nucleolus

Source 4

The Nuclear Envelope

  • Double membrane structure made of phospholipids

  • Nuclear pores control the flow of materials

  • They allow building blocks of RNA and DNA molecules and energy sources to enter the nucleus

Source 2

  • Space between the layers is called the perinuclear space

  • This space connects with the rough endoplasmic reticulum

  • The inner layer of the double membrane, the nuclear lamina, is made of protein

  • The entire nuclear envelope disintegrates during mitosis and reforms as the new cells are created

Chromatin and Chromosomes

  • Chromatin is made up of strings of DNA and histones

  • The strands come together to form chromosomes during mitosis

  • Heterochromatin and euchromatin are two classifications of chromatin

  • Heterochromatin is more condensed while euchromatin is delicate and less tightly packed

  • The six feet of DNA within the cell are stored as chromatin

Source 7

An artist’s depiction of chromatin!

The Nucleolus

  • The nucleolus is spherical, dense, and located in the middle of the nucleus

  • It produces ribosomal subunits, thus indirectly helping to synthesize proteins

  • GEMs (gemini of coiled bodies) are made by the nucleolus

  • Interchromatin granule clusters are also made by the nucleolus

  • It is visible when the cell is not being divided

  • The nucleolus may affect the senescence, or aging, of an organism

Source 5

For more information about the nucleolus, see Josh, Callie, and Garrett’s project

Major Functions of the Nucleus

1. Gene expression

2. Managing cellular reproduction

Source 8

DNA, RNA, and Gene Expression

The Nucleus:

Stores and regulates the DNA

Uses transcription DNA to make the mRNA

Processes the pre-mRNA through post-transcriptional modification

Exports the mRNA to the ribosomes, where the mRNA becomes protein

  • Consequently, controlling gene expression allows the nucleus to manage cellular activities such as:

    • Intermediary metabolism

    • Protein synthesis

    • Growth

    • Cell compartmentalization

    • Mitosis

    • Nuclear transport

Source 11

Source 12



The Nucleus’s Role in Cellular Reproduction

  • Mitosis is the process of cells dividing to create new cells

  • The nucleus must replicate all the cell’s genomic DNA

  • The DNA divides into two identical sets for mitosis to occur

  • The nucleus splits and forms two nuclei around each new set of DNA

  • That allows the cell to divide into two new identical cells

The process of mitosis:

Source 13


Works Cited: Thanks to all our sources!






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14. Our lovely textbook! Campbell, et al. Biology: Concepts and Connections.