|Feature||Prokaryotic DNA||Eukaryotic DNA|
|1. Location||Freely found in cytoplasm in a region called nucleoid.||Is contained within a membrane bound nucleus.|
|2. Packaging||Are not bounded with histone proteins and thus DNA does not form tightly coiled structures.||DNA is bound to histone and non-histone proteins that helps the DNA to form a tightly coiled and packed structure so that a large amount of DNA can reside in the nucleus.|
|3. Shape of Chromosome||Chromosomes are circular in shape and can form loops since they are not tightly packed.||Chromosomes are linear.|
|4. Genome||Compact and contains very little repetitive DNA and no introns.||Contains large amounts of repetitive DNA and intron.|
|5. Chromosome Number||Have only one principal chromosome which may have multiple copies.||Contains variant number of chromosomes depending on the type of organism.|
|6. Number of Nucleotide Base Pair||Ranges from 160, 000 to 12.2 million.||Can vary depending on the type of organism. For example, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes containing about 2.9 billion base pairs.|
|7. Replication Process||Relatively simple and speedy (2000 base pairs/second) and during the process only a single origin, replication fork and bubble is formed. Prokaryotic Replication takes about two proteins to initiate.||Is more complex and slower (100 base pairs/second) and during the process, multiple origins, replication forks and bubbles can be formed. Takes about multiple protein sub units to initiate.|
|8. Presence of extra- chromosomal DNA||Contains extra chromosomal DNA known as plasmid.||Does not contain plasmid but different cell organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplast have their own DNA.|
|9. Information Content||Prokaryotic DNA is organized in segments called operons which code for multiple proteins.||Eukaryotic DNA contains genes and each gene codes for a single protein. Sometimes, multiple genes can code for the same protein as well.|
Note: Introns are sequences of DNA which do not code for protein.
Extract from HSC Biology Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2017 Board of Studies NSW.