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6.11. The cell nucleus

Cell nucleus

The nucleus is the main organelle of the eukaryotic animal and plant cell, as it contains genetic information in the form of DNA, and is where DNA replication and the synthesis of all RNA takes place.

The nucleus looks very different depending on where it is in the cycle. Thus, it is distinguished:

The nucleus is an organelle surrounded by a double membrane, the nuclear envelope , which surrounds the genetic material (DNA) of the cell, separating it from the cytoplasm. The internal environment is called nucleoplasm, which in addition to DNA, contains one or more corpuscles very rich in RNA, called nucleoli.

The interphase nucleus, as we will see, has a double nuclear membrane and the DNA is part of  unwound chromatin fibers . Although the interphase nucleus has been erroneously called the resting nucleus, it is at this time when its activity is highest, since the DNA fibers (chromatin) are extended to allow their transcription into RNA, and to duplicate before cell division.

As cell division begins, chromatin condenses and forms chromosomesLater, the nuclear envelope disappears and division by mitosis or meiosis continues .