Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Divya VimalEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_178-1



Nucleus is one of the most dynamic membrane-bound organelle present in the cell. During the course of evolution, packaging of nuclear material in a separate membrane inside a cell was a turning point that distinguished eukaryotic from prokaryotic organisms. It is the most important structure of the cell as it contains the blueprint of life, DNA, responsible for storage and transmission of hereditary characters.


The term “nucleus” is derived from Latin word nucleus or nuculeus, meaning kernel or seed. Nucleus is equivalent to the eye of cell which contains the DNA. It is one of the most important, prominent, and first ever discovered organelle that encompasses the genetic material of the cell in eukaryotic organisms. Prokaryotic cells do not have a nucleus; their genetic material is loosely bound to their outer membrane and is called nucleoid. The DNA is contained within the walls of...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Embryotoxicology LaboratoryCSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology ResearchLucknowIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Akash Gautam
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia