Where to find DNA?

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 When considering living organisms we distinguish between bacteria (prokaryotes) and higher organisms (eukaryotes).

 Meaning of prokaryote:   pro = before; karyon = nucleus

Meaning of eukaryote:    eu = true; karyon = nucleus
 
Prokaryotes are comparatively simple organisms with all cellular processes taking place in a single compartment. The DNA is contained in the structure called the nucleoid.
 

  In contrast, most eukaryotes are multicellular organisms with cells that are highly organized, containing specialized organelles which compartmentalize key cellular functions. Eukaryotic cells have a true nucleus; a membrane bound structure containing the nuclear genetic material while prokaryotes do not have a true nucleus.

Eukaryotic cells are complicated structures, with many internal membranes, a liquid phase and organelles. So typically, we partition eukaryotic cells into two major compartments, a nucleus and cytoplasm. The cytoplasm comprises various organelles, membranes and an aqueous compartment known as the cytosol.

 

 Plant cells are surrounded by a cell wall that is absent in animal cells. Organelles that contain genetic material are the nucleus, mitochondria and chloroplasts which are only present in the cytoplasm of plant cells.

 

 

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