The main difference between heterokaryotic and dikaryotic is that heterokaryotic organisms have two or more genetically different nuclei, whereas dikaryotic organisms have two genetically different nuclei.
The terms heterokaryotic and dikaryotic are used to describe microorganisms such as fungi, and their reproduction process.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Heterokaryotic
– Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Dikaryotic
– Definition, Characteristics
3. What are the Similarities Between Heterokaryotic and Dikaryotic
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Heterokaryotic and Dikaryotic
– Comparison of Key Differences
Heterokaryotic, Heterokaryon, Dikaryotic, Dikaryon
What is Heterokaryotic
The term heterokaryotic defines an organism having genetically different nuclei at the same cell. Generally, these organisms contain multinucleate cells. Moreover, the noun for the term heterokaryotic is heterokaryon. It is a special type of syncytium (a multinucleate cell that forms from multiple cell fusions of uninuclear cells – a uninuclear cell contains one form of genetic matter in the cell nuclei).
Furthermore, there are two forms of heterokaryon formation: natural formation and artificial formation. In nature, these multinucleated cells occur in the mycelium of fungi in its sexual cycle. However, the artificial formation can be observed in the experimental fusion of different genetic matter in hybridoma technology.
What is Dikaryotic
Dikaryotic refers to an organism having two genetically different cell nuclei in the same cell. These organisms are known as dikaryons. During the plasmogamy of organisms, compatible cell types can undergo fusion via combining their cytoplasm with each other. Here, the two cell nuclei in each cell tend to cohabitate in the newly formed cell by pairing off with each other. Moreover, this dikaryotic stage can be observed in hyphae cells that synchronously divide. The nuclei pairs are then passed into the new cells.
Furthermore, common examples of dikaryotic cells are the cells Ascomycota ascogeneous hyphae and ascocarp. However, the bulk cells of these organisms remain in the monokaryotic form.
Similarities Between Dikaryon and Heterokaryon
- Both heterokaryotic and dikaryotic organisms are organisms that possess more than one genetically different nucleus.
- Moreover, both types of organisms possess only one common cytoplasm.
Difference Between Heterokaryotic and Dikaryotic
Heterokaryotic organisms are organisms having genetically different nuclei at the same cell, while dikaryotic organisms are organisms having two genetically different cell nuclei in the same cell.
Heterokaryotic organisms have two or more cell nuclei in the same cell, while dikaryotic organisms have two cell nuclei in the same cell, but these are genetically different nuclei.
Moreover, heterokaryon cells are not unique to fungi as they can also be seen in slime moulds. However, dikaryon cells are unique to fungi.
An example of the occurrence of natural heterokaryotic cells is the mycelium of fungi; we can also find artificial heterkaryotic cells in hybridoma technology, which involves the experimental fusion of two genetically different cells. Meanwhile, an example of the occurrence of dikaryotic cells is in Ascomycota ascogeneous hyphae and ascocarp.
In brief, dikaryon and heterokaryon are two terms that describe share two or more genetically distinct nuclei within a common cytoplasm. However, as their names suggest, dikaryotic organisms contain two nuclei that are genetically different from each other while heterokaryotic organisms are multicellular organisms having genetically different nuclei. Therefore, the main difference between heterokaryotic and dikaryotic organisms is the number of nuclei.
1. “Mushroom’s roots (mycélium)” By – original uploader was Lex vB at Dutch Wikipedia. – Originally from nl.wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Scarlet elf cap cadnant dingle” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia