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Cytoplasm – Introduction, Structure, Function, Organelles

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All living things are composed of the basic components known as cells, which are the basic unit of life. Robert Hooke identified a cell as the tiniest functioning unit of life in 1665. A cell is capable of carrying out each task required to maintain life on its own. So, the simplest form of life is the cell.


The cytoplasm is the name for the liquid that makes up cells. It includes additional cells floating in the cytosol along with threads, ions, peptides, and supramolecular structures. However, recent findings imply that the conventional notion of cytoplasm is notaccurate. It was thought to be a liquid substance decades ago, but current research shows that it is more like liquids that create glass. With the exception of the nucleus, the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells is associated with the contents of the cell. Prokaryotic cells, however, lack a distinct nuclear membrane and instead store their genetic material in their cytoplasm. The cells are more compact and have a simpler organization of the cytoplasm than eukaryotes.


The different structures found inside cells are called organelles. Each of these structures is unique and has a particular purpose. The nucleus, cytoplasm, and plasma membrane are the three primary components of a cell. The cell membrane, also known as the plasma membrane, is a membranous barrier which that would be bi-lipid and separates the cell organelles from other cells and their external environment. The cytoplasm and nucleus, among other components, are enclosed within the cell’s outer layer, nucleus, one of several largest organelles, comes next. They are the only ones in charge of a cell. The cellular components are inserted into the cytoplasm, which is a jelly-like substance. One crucial part of the cell is the cytoplasm. The nucleus and cell membrane are joined by a semi-liquid, jelly-like substance. The cytoplasm is suspended within the cell, together with other cell organelles such as the reticulum of endoplasm,ribosomes, and vacuoles. With the help of the staining method, it is simple to examine it under a microscope. It serves as the location of a number of chemical reactions inside a cell. Here, the majority of cellular metabolism occurs.


The ability of cells to preserve their turgor, which allows the cells to keep their shape, is one of the cytoplasm’s primary tasks. Here are some of the cytoplasm’s additional functions:

  • All of the components of the cells are embedded in the jelly-like cytoplasm, which is present within the cell membrane and is made up of salt and water.
  • The cytoplasm, which houses chemicals and enzymes essential for the breakdown of waste, is the site of many of the actions carried out by the cell.
  • Additionally supporting metabolic processes in the cytoplasm.
  • The cell’s form is provided by the cytoplasm. It makes the cells full, allowing the organelles to stay in place. Without cytoplasm, cells would deflate and chemicals would not pass through.
  • Without cytoplasm, cells would collapse and chemicals would have a difficult time moving between organelles.
  • The cytosol, a component of the cytoplasm, lacks organelles. Instead, the cytosol is surrounded by matrix borders that completely encompass the portion of the cell that is devoid of organelles.
  • Protoplasm refers to the entirety of a living cell’s cellular makeup. The protoplasm of cellular is comprised of the cytoplasm, nucleus, and all other live parts of the cell.

Organelles in the cytoplasm


Every eukaryotic cell has a double-membraned organelle called the nucleus. It is the biggest organelle and serves as the command center for cellular operations as well as the DNA repository for the cell. The nucleus is a black, spherical structure that is encircled by a nuclear membrane. This is a permeable membrane that forms a barrier between cytosol and the nucleus. The nucleolus, or small spherical entities, are found inside the nucleus. It also contains chromosomes, a crucial component. Genes are vital biological structures that are carried by chromosomes, which are delicate, thread-like structures. In organisms, genes function as a genetic unit, assisting in the transmission of features from one era (parents) to the next (offspring). As a result, the nucleus manages the traits and operations of our body’s cells. Using the genetic information contained in DNA, the nucleus’ main job is to keep track of cellular functions like metabolism and growth. Protein and RNA synthesis takes place in the nucleus of the nucleoli.


Because they generate energy-dense molecules for the cell, mitochondria are referred to as the powerhouses of the cell. In many species, the mitochondrial genome is transmitted from the mother. It is a sausage-shaped organelle with two membranes linked to it that is present in practically all eukaryotic cells.

Its lumen is split into two different aqueous compartments by double membranes. The outer membrane creates a continuous barrier with the cytoplasm, whereas the interior compartment, known as the “matrix,” is folded into cristae.

Endoplasmic reticulum

The Endoplasmic Reticulum is a network of fluid-filled membranous tubes. They are the cell’s transport system and are responsible for moving materials around the cell.

The endoplasmic reticulum comes in two varieties:

  • The production of proteins is carried out by the rough endoplasmic reticulum, which is made up of cisternae, tubules, and vesicles.
  • Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: This organelle serves as a storage area and is involved in the synthesis of lipids and steroids, as well as the detoxification of the cell.


Huge, membrane-bound organelles called plastids hold pigment. Plastids can be classified into three groups based on the sort of pigments they contain:

  • Chloroplast: Chloroplasts are dual membrane-bound organelles that typically come in a variety of shapes, including disc-shaped, oval, and ribbon. The mesophyll cells of leaves, which house the chloroplasts and other carotene pigments, contain them. The photosynthetic process depends on the pigments’ ability to store light energy. A region known as the stroma is enclosed by the intermembrane space. Thylakoids, which are flat disc-shaped chlorophyll-containing organelles, are grouped like a pile of coins. Each pile is referred to as a granum (plural: grana), and stroma lamella is flattened, membranous small tubes that link the thylakoids of various grana. The stroma of chloroplasts likewise has dual circular DNA, 70S ribosomes, including enzymes necessary for the production of carbs, similar to the mitochondrial matrix does.
  • Chromoplasts: This comprises low-saturated carotene compounds, such as xanthophylls and carotene, which give plants their distinctive colors, such as yellow, and red.
  • Leucoplasts are colorless plastids that serve as food storage. Aleuroplasts retain proteins, elaioplasts hold oils and lipids, and amyloplasts hold carbs (such as the starch in potatoes).


In close proximity to the endoplasmic reticulum are ribosomes, significant non-membrane-bound cytoplasmic organelles. Numerous cells have microscopic particles called ribosomes, which are primarily made up of 2/3 RNA and 1/3 protein. They are referred to as the 70s or the 80s (found in prokaryotes) (found in eukaryotes) Svedberg’s Unit, which begins with the letter S, stands for size and density. Two subunits make up the 70S and 80S ribosomes, respectively. Either the endoplasmic reticulum encloses ribosomes or they are freely dispersed throughout the cytoplasm of the cell. The two parts that makeup ribosomes are ribosomal RNA and ribosomal proteins. All living cells’ major purpose of ribosomes is to synthesize proteins, which guarantees.

Golgi apparatus

The Golgi Complex is another name for the Golgi Apparatus. This is a membrane-bound part of the cell made up primarily of cisternae, which are a series of flat, piled pouches. Proteins and lipids are predominantly moved, altered, and packaged by this cellular organelle to reach specific locations. Each animal and plants contain the Golgi apparatus, which is located in the cytoplasm of a cell.


Microbodies are small, vesicle organelles that are membrane-bound and can be seen in both animals and plants. These must be seen with an electron microscope and consist of a variety of cellular proteins.


From either the nucleus to the cell membrane, a persistent system of tubular protein structures can be seen all across the cytoplasm. All living organisms contain it, but eukaryotes in particular. Various sorts of proteins that really can quickly multiply or disintegrate depending on the requirements of the cells make up the cytoskeleton matrix. The key roles include giving the cell its shape and high toughness over distortion; the strands’ ability to shrink enables them to move quickly through cytokinesis.

Cilia and flagella

Tiny, hair-like protrusions called cilia are found outside of cell walls and act as oars to propel either the colony or indeed the extracellular matrix. The slightly larger flagella are in charge of cell movement. The bacterial flagellum and the eukaryotes flagellum are structurally distinct. The cilium and flagellum’s central structure, known as the axoneme, is made up of a set of central microtubules that run parallel to the axis and nine pairs of gradually organized peripheral microtubules. The core tubules are embedded by a central sheath and joined by a bridge. A radial spike also connects one of the peripheral microtubular pairs to the central sheath. Thus, there are nine radial spokes altogether. The cilia and flagella are produced by centriole-like.

Centrosome and centriole

Two centrioles, or mutually perpendicular structures, make form the centrosome organelle. Each centriole is made up of nine tubulin protein peripheral fibrils that are evenly spaced apart and are made up of interconnected triplets. The hub, or central portion of the centriole, is made of protein. The hub’s radial spoke, which is formed of proteins, joins the peripheral fibrils. During cell division, the centrioles from either the basal bodies of the flagellar offer ascent to spindle fibers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Describe cytoplasm?


The fluid that makes up a cell’s cytoplasm, which is contained within the cell membrane, contains salts, enzymes, and other organelles in addition to water.

Question2: What crucial role does cytoplasm play?


The parts of the cell are held in place by the cytoplasm, which also shields them from harm. It serves to give the cell its form and stores the chemicals needed for cellular functions.

Question3: What would occur if the cell’s cytoplasm was absent?


Without cytoplasm, a cell would become inflated and flat and unable to keep its shape. In the cell, the organelles won’t be able to suspend.

Question4: What does the cytoplasmic charge look like?


Three sodium ions are exported from the cell to the extracellular space for each ATP molecule, whereas potassium ( k+ ions are imported into the cytoplasm. As a result, the cytoplasm has a negative charge.

Question5: Where can we locate pigments made of chloroplasts and chromoplasts in plants?


The plastids found in all plant tissue are chloroplasts and chromoplasts. The pigments that give leaflets, stems, and other plant parts their green hue are found in chloroplasts. The three colored compounds found in all colored plant components, such as flowers, are contained in chromoplasts.

Question6: What type of cell organelle is referred to as the cell’s powerhouse?


Because they perform metabolic processes and produce the energy for the cell known as ATP, mitochondria are the main organelle and are referred to as the Powerhouse.

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Last Updated : 24 Jul, 2022
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