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Structure and Function of Protoplasm

  • Botany

In this structure and function of protoplasm post we have briefly explained about definition, components, structure, features, and function.

Structure and Function of Protoplasm

The living substance that makes up a cell is referred to as protoplasm. Biologists frequently refer to the cell nucleus and cytoplasm. A cell wall surrounds it in plant cells. An animal cell’s entire cell is made of protoplasm and is surrounded by a cell membrane. The protoplasm of living organisms is composed of approximately 75–80 percent water. Hugo von Mohl coined the term “protoplasm” in 1846 to describe the substance found in plant cells other than the cell wall, cell nucleus, and vacuole.


In general, protoplasm refers to the living components of a cell. However, the term protoplasm is no longer widely used because it was originally used to denote that a cell consists of only two elements: a nucleus and a plain, homogeneous cytoplasm.

We now understand that the cytoplasm is extremely complex and contains numerous organelles. Nonetheless, in eukaryotes such as plants and animals, the protoplasm outside the nucleus is referred to as cytoplasm, and the protoplasm inside the nucleus is referred to as nucleoplasm. In prokaryotes, the contents of a cell are referred to collectively as the cytoplasm.



Structure and Function of Protoplasm


The cytoplasm, which exists between the cell membrane and the nucleus in eukaryotes, is the most important component of protoplasm. The cytoplasm is in charge of maintaining an environment in which the various organelles within it can function.


The nucleus is the second component of protoplasm. It contains the genetic material of a cell or organism. It also plays a role in cell activity regulation. Furthermore, the nucleus is the site of ribosome production, which is required for protein synthesis in the cell. Furthermore, the nucleus is where ribosomes, which are required for protein synthesis in the cell, are produced. Prokaryotes lack a nucleus, instead relying on a region known as the nucleoid to store their genetic information.

Other substances

Molecules such as proteins, fats, enzymes, hormones, and other substances are all part of the protoplasm’s composition. These substances can be found either dissolved in the protoplasm’s water component or suspended within it. The protoplasm, then, is fascinating and complex, and it is far from plain or simple.


The protoplasm is the cell’s living material. It is mostly made up of biomolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. It also contains inorganic salts and water molecules. The protoplasm is surrounded by the cell membrane.

Because prokaryotes lack a distinct nucleus and other cytoplasmic organelles, the protoplasm refers to the materials contained within the cell membrane, i.e. the prokaryotic cytoplasm.

In certain prokaryotes, particularly Gram-negative bacteria, the protoplasm extends to the periplasm region between the cytoplasmic membrane and the outer membrane.

This region contains periplasm, a gel-like material that is part of the Gram-negative bacteria protoplasm. In eukaryotes, the protoplasm is divided into two parts: the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm (cell nucleus).

The cytoplasm is the jelly-like material found in eukaryotic cells. Except for the nucleus, it is made up of the cytosol, vesicles, cytoskeleton, inclusions, and organelles.

Thus, the cytoplasm of a eukaryotic cell is that portion of the cell that lies between the cell membrane and the nuclear envelope. Nucleoplasm is the material found within the nuclear envelope. The nucleus protoplasm is essential nucleoplasm.


It carries out all of the necessary life-sustaining procedures. Its procedures include the use of nutrients and oxygen, the transformation of food into living matter, the ejection of used substances, the renewal of worn parts, and the production of new cells. All protoplasm functions are thoroughly discussed.


Cells divide to produce identical daughter cells; the protoplasm nucleus performs a function, such as the angiosperm meristematic region. A cell aids in the reproduction processes of mitosis (in more evolved organisms) and meiosis.


The living protoplasm responds to stimuli, for example, retinal cells in the eye respond to light. It is the ability of protoplasm to respond to stimuli, and it is an aspect of life that is lost with cell death.


The majority of these functions are carried out within the cell, for example, in mitochondrial respiration. Organisms require energy to perform various chemical reactions. Plants get their energy from photosynthesis, whereas animals get their energy from respiration.


Some cells, such as collenchyma and sclerenchyma, are present to provide structural support, but all cells generally provide the structural basis of all organisms as well.


Cells must eliminate excretory waste, which normally spreads through the cell membrane and out of the cell. It necessitates the ingestion of compounds that may be assimilated or otherwise utilised by the cells in metabolism. It is the process by which a cell extrudes material. These materials may be useful (secretion) or ineffective (excretion), such as digestive enzymes and hormones, urine and sweat, and so on.


Cells produce the nutrients required for the chemically dissimilar procedure that occurs within them. As a result of those processes, waste is produced. Cells then work to eliminate the waste. Small molecules such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and ethanol pass through the cell membrane in this manner. This is known as passive transportation. This is known as passive transportation. Larger molecules, such as proteins and polysaccharides, enter and exit the cell via active transport.


A cell is in charge of metabolism, which includes all of the chemical reactions that take place within an organism in order to keep it alive.


It is the propagation of excitation waves from the stimulation site throughout the cell. This property is highly developed in nerve cells and, to a lesser extent, in muscle cells. Contraction is a size change phenomenon that usually manifests as a shortening. It has a muscular build.


Growth is defined as an increase in cell size, which leads to an increase in cytoplasm. Cell division causes growth; the protoplasm is consumed, and the scale expands. The maximum size of a cell is largely determined by its surface area. Beyond the maximum size, an increase in the number of cells occurs when further tissue growth is required. This is accomplished through cell division.

Further Readings


Structure and Function of Protoplasm