Cell Organelles

Organelles are small organ-like structures inside cells. They perform functions that aid cell function.

What is a cell organelle?

An organelle refers to the tiny, organ-like entities found within cells. These structures perform various functions essential for the cell’s operation.

Anatomy of an Animal Cell
Anatomy of an Animal Cell

What are the different types of cells?

Eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells are the two main types of cells.

Prokaryotic cells are simpler than eukaryotic cells. They lack membrane-bound organelles like mitochondria and a nucleus. Prokaryotic cells are found in bacteria. They consist of the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, ribosomes, and DNA/RNA.

Plant and animal cells are two types of eukaryotic cells.

Plant cells are rectangular, while animal cells are circular. Plant cells have chloroplasts and one large vacuole that takes up 90% of the cell. Animal cells lack chloroplasts and have many small vacuoles scattered throughout.

Do all cells have the same organelles?

1. Cells have specialized organelles for specific purposes. Plant cells, for instance, contain chloroplasts and chlorophyll, giving plants their green color. This allows them to absorb sunlight and photosynthesize. Additionally, plant cells possess a cell wall instead of a plasma membrane.

2. Specialized organelles in cells serve specific purposes. Take plant cells, for example, which boast chloroplasts and chlorophyll, responsible for their vibrant green hue. These components enable plants to soak up sunlight and carry out photosynthesis. Moreover, plant cells feature a cell wall, not a plasma membrane.

Cell organelles and their functions

NucleusContains the cell’s DNA and is involved in gene regulation, cell growth, and reproduction.
MitochondriaProduces energy (ATP) through cellular respiration.
Chloroplasts(In plant cells) Conducts photosynthesis to convert solar energy into chemical energy.
Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER)Rough ER (with ribosomes) is involved in protein synthesis. Smooth ER is involved in lipid synthesis and detoxification.
Golgi ApparatusModifies, sorts, and packages proteins and lipids for storage or transport out of the cell.
LysosomesContains digestive enzymes to break down waste materials and cellular debris.
PeroxisomesBreaks down fatty acids and amino acids; detoxifies poisons.
RibosomesSynthesize proteins from amino acids.
CytoskeletonProvides structure to the cell, aids in cellular movement, and transports materials within the cell.
VacuolesStores nutrients, waste products, and helps in maintaining cell turgor (especially in plant cells).
Cell MembraneRegulates what enters and leaves the cell; provides protection and support.
Cell Wall(In plant cells, fungi, and some prokaryotes) Provides additional protection and structure.

Organelles that are found only in plant cells

ChloroplastsConduct photosynthesis, converting solar energy into chemical energy (glucose).
Cell WallProvides additional structural support and protection beyond the cell membrane.
Central VacuoleMaintains cell turgor, stores nutrients and waste products, and degrades waste materials.
PlasmodesmataChannels between plant cell walls that allow for transport and communication between cells