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It is not enclosed by a membrane.

A nucleoid is an irregularly shaped regionin a prokaryotic cell that contains most of the genetic material. It is not enclosed by a membrane.

A nucleus is an organelle enclosed by a membrane, found in eukaryotic cell, and consist of the genetic material of the cell.

A nucleus performs two major functions:

Stores the hereditary material of the cell.

Coordinates the cellular activities including growth, reproduction, etc.

The nucleus is explicitly found in eukaryotic organisms while nucleoids are found only in prokaryotes. These structures essentially contain the genetic material and DNA is found in both the nucleus and nucleoid.

The nucleus found inside eukaryotic cells are is protected by the nuclear membrane. It separates the nucleus from the other cellular components inside the cell. The nucleoid possesses no such protective membrane and is not separated from the other components of the prokaryotic cell.

Inside every living organisms, there is an area that stores all the genetic material and controls cellular activities. In eukaryotes, this function is taken up by the nucleus, whereas in prokaryotes, the same is undertaken by the nucleoid.

Let us explore the difference between nucleus and nucleoid in detail.

The nucleus is the largest and the most important cell organelle in a  eukaryotic cell . A nucleus is a membrane-bound organelle that houses the genetic material of eukaryotes in DNA. The nucleus consists of protein fibres or the DNA inside chromatin fibres. Nucleoids contain the genetic material of prokaryotes in the cytoplasm. The nucleoids usually consist of a single chromosome.

Let us look at more difference between nucleus and nucleoid in the table given below.

By definition, a nucleoid is a region within a prokaryotic cell that contains most or all of the genetic material. This material is called the genophore or the prokaryotic chromosome. DNA is found in both the nucleus and nucleoid. And hence, the functions of the nucleus and nucleotide are almost the same. However, their structure and organisation differ in many ways.

Nucleus is the organelle found in the eukaryotic cell fully enclosed inside the nuclear membrane. It contains a majority of the genetic material of the cell. The nucleus coordinates with the cell activities including growth, metabolism, protein synthesis and reproduction. Also Read:   The Nucleus

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A nucleus is a membrane-bound structure in which eukaryotes assemble their genetic materials.

Nucleoid is a particular area in which prokaryotes assemble their genetic materials.

A nucleus is well organised and is large.

Nucleoid is poorly organised and is small.

A nucleus is engirdled by a double layer membrane known as nuclear membrane which separates the nucleus from other organelles.

Nucleoid lacks a protective membrane.

A nucleus comprises several chromosomes.

Nucleoid usually contains only one chromosome.

A nucleus is a spherically shaped organelle.

Nucleoid is an irregularly shaped organelle.

Nucleoplasm and Nucleolus are present in the nucleus.

Nucleoplasm and Nucleolus are not found in a nucleoid.

It is composed of DNA, RNA, enzymes, dissolved ions, histones and other subnuclear bodies.

It is composed of DNA, RNA, histones and other proteins.