Difference Between Euchromatin And Heterochromatin

Heterochromatin is defined as the area of the chromosome which is darkly stained with a DNA-specific stain and is in comparatively condensed form. Euchromatin is defined as the area of the chromosome which is rich in genes that actively participate in the transcription process.

To help you understand how they differ from each other, we have given the difference between euchromatin and heterochromatin.

Also Read: What is VNTR

Euchromatin vs Heterochromatin

Following are the important differences between heterochromatin and euchromatin:

Euchromatin Heterochromatin
A loosely packed form of DNA A tightly packed form of DNA
DNA density
Low High
Prokaryotes as well as eukaryotes Eukaryotes only
Active Inactive
Early replicative Late replicative
Regions are not sticky Sticky regions
Participate in the transcriptional activity
No or little transcriptional activity

What is Heterochromatin?

Heterochromatin is a tightly packed form of DNA in the nucleus. They are so compactly organised that they are inaccessible to the protein involved in gene expression. It is of two types – facultative heterochromatin and constitutive heterochromatin.

What is Euchromatin?

It is a loosely packed form of chromatin. These are active during transcription. It contains around 90% of the entire human genome. Housekeeping genes are one of the forms of euchromatin.

These were some of the important differences between euchromatin and heterochromatin. To know more about their structure, register to BYJU’S.

Some important links:

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
Short Biology Quiz!


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