What is the nucleolus?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

What is the function of the nucleolus?

See this dark spot in the onion cell?

Onion Cell

The dark spot in the nucleus, one of the few organelles you can see with an inexpensive microscope. Inside the nucleus is an even darker spot. This is the nucleolus and it is found in eukaryotic cells, but what is the function of the nucleolus?

It has been described as the brain of the nucleus

This structure does not have a surrounding membrane and is made up of proteins and ribonucleic acids (RNA). The nucleolus makes up around 25% of the nucleus Its main function is to rewrite ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and combine it with proteins resulting in incomplete ribosomes. If you remember RNA has a single strand and is composed of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and uracil. This genetic material is different from the DNA which contains adenine, cytidine, guanine, and thymine instead of the Uracil.

The RNA of the nucleolus is important for the Ribosomes which are protein factories found throughout the cell  Ribosomes are composed of a large and small subunit, each of which contains its own rRNA.

So in summary,

The nucleolus is a region inside the nucleus with a cell membrane.

It contains proteins and RNA.

The RNA is important for ribosomes which put amino acids together to make proteins.

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