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.

Also Read: What is VNTR

Euchromatin vs Heterochromatin

Following are the important difference between heterochromatin and euchromatin:

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

What is Heterochromatin?

Heterochromatin are a tightly packed form of DNA in the nucleus. They are so compactly organized that they 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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