Both plants and animals are eukaryotes, meaning they have cells that contain a nucleus. The nucleus of a plant cell is similar in many respects to the nucleus of animal cells.
The nucleus is located inside the cell and surrounded by a double-layered membrane; there is only one nucleus per cell. The nuclear membrane is studded with small pores called nuclear pores, each of which is surrounded by a complex of as many as a hundred proteins.
The nucleus is the storehouse of the cell's DNA. The nuclear membrane in a plant cell acts to regulate traffic by determining which molecules can enter and exit. Messenger RNAs, for example, cannot leave the nucleus until they have been appropriately modified. The complexes of proteins that form nuclear pores serve to control these ports of entry.
The inside of the nuclear membrane is reinforced with intermediate filaments or fibers called nuclear lamina. During plant cell division, the nuclear membrane and nuclear lamina break down; once cell division is complete, new nuclear membranes will form around the chromosomes in each of the daughter cells.
- Florida State University: Plant Cell Nucleus
- "Essential Cell Biology"; Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Karen Hopkin, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter; 2004
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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