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Question Video: Defining the Role of the Nucleoplasm Biology

Which of the following best describes the nucleoplasm? [A] The double membrane that surrounds the nucleus to separate its contents from the cell cytoplasm. [B] The viscous substance found within the nucleus that maintains the organelle’s cuboidal shape. [C] A gelatinous liquid found within the nucleus that contains chromatin. [D] An aqueous solution that is the site of all the chemical reactions that occur within a cell. [E] The fatty layer that encloses the nucleolus to separate it from the nucleus.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following best describes the nucleoplasm? (A) The double membrane that surrounds the nucleus to separate its contents from the cell cytoplasm. (B) The viscous substance found within the nucleus that maintains the organelle’s cuboidal shape. (C) A gelatinous liquid found within the nucleus that contains chromatin. (D) An aqueous solution that is the site of all the chemical reactions that occur within a cell. (E) The fatty layer that encloses the nucleolus to separate it from the nucleus.

One of the defining characteristics of eukaryotic cells is the presence of the nucleus to contain DNA. Let’s take a closer look at the nucleus and describe some of its parts so we can answer our question.

The nucleus is surrounded by an inner and outer membrane that together make up the nuclear envelope. The nuclear envelope separates the contents of the nucleus from the rest of the cell. This protects DNA from any reactions that are occurring in the cytoplasm.

The outer membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum, which you can see here. Only a portion of it is shown for simplicity, but the endoplasmic reticulum surrounds the whole nucleus.

Surrounding the nuclear membrane are numerous openings, called nuclear pores. These allow small substances, like mRNA, to exit the nucleus while keeping larger substances, like DNA, inside the nucleus.

Inside the nucleus is the DNA and its chromosomes that are compacted in a state called chromatin. Chromatin is a mixture of DNA and histone proteins.

The nucleolus is a region of the nucleus where ribosome subunits are produced. Here there’s lots of proteins, RNA, and DNA that are responsible for assembling ribosomes. Because of the high amount of material in the nucleolus, it’s usually easily seen with a microscope.

And finally, the gel-like fluid that contains the chromatin and all the nucleotides and enzymes needed for DNA transcription is called the nucleoplasm.

Going back to our question, the option that best describes the nucleoplasm is given by answer choice (C): a gelatinous liquid found within the nucleus that contains chromatin.

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