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 gene concentration and actively participates in the transcription process. It is found in the nucleus of eukaryotes as well as prokaryotes.

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

Difference Between Euchromatin And Heterochromatin

Following are the important difference between heterochromatin and euchromatin:

Euchromatin Heterochromatin
Form
A loosely packed form of DNA A tightly packed form of DNA
Heteropycnosis
Does not exhibit Exhibits
DNA density
Low High
Found
Prokaryotes as well as eukaryotes Eukaryotes only
State
Active Inactive
Replication
Early replicative Late replicative
Sticky/Non-sticky
Regions are not sticky Sticky regions
Presence
Inner body of the nucleus The periphery of the nucleus
Activity
No or little transcriptional activity
Participate in the transcriptional activity

What is Heterochromatin?

Heterochromatin are tightly packed form of DNA in the nucleus. They are so compactly organized that that are inaccessible to the protein involved in gene expression. Even the crossing over cannot take place. These are of two types – facultative heterochromatin and constitutive heterochromatin.

What is Euchromatin?

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

These were some of the important difference between Euchromatin and Heterochromatin. To know more about their structure register to BYJU’S.

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