Home » Structure and Function of Cytoplasm

Structure and Function of Cytoplasm

Cells, the fundamental building blocks of life, are present in every living creature. It wasn’t until 1665 that Robert Hooke established the cell as the smallest functional unit of life. That leaves the cell as the fundamental unit of all known forms of life. Although Rudolf von Kölliker, a Swiss scientist, first used the word “Cytoplasm” in 1863, it was initially only another name for protoplasm. Over time, however, the term came to signify what we now know by “cytoplasm.” Let’s learn more about structure and function of cytoplasm.

What is Cytoplasm?

The cytoplasm is the substance found inside of cells. It includes the cytosol and all the organelles floating in it, as well as filaments, ions, proteins, and macromolecular structures. But new research suggests that the old way of thinking about cytoplasm is no longer correct. Decades ago, it was thought to be a fluid-like substance, but new evidence shows that it is more like liquids that harden into glass.

In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm is connected to all of the parts of the cell except for the nucleus. But because prokaryotic cells don’t have a clear nuclear membrane, the genetic material of the cell is found in the cytoplasm. Compared to eukaryotes, the cells are smaller, and the cytoplasm is not set up in a complicated way. 

Cytoplasm Diagram

Labelled Diagram of a Cytoplasm

Figure 1: Labelled diagram of a cytoplasm explains structure and function of cytoplasm.

Cytoplasm Structure

Cell organelles are various structures existing inside cells. All of these structures are different and serve different purposes. The plasma membrane, the cytoplasm, and the nucleus are the three most important parts of a cell. The plasma membrane, also called the cell membrane, is a bi-lipid membrane that separates the organelles of a cell from the outside world and from other cells. It is the outside covering of a cell that holds all of its organelles. 

The nucleus is one of the largest organelles. They have exclusive authority over a cell. Lastly, the cytoplasm is a jelly-like substance that contains the cell organelles. The cytoplasm is a crucial part of every living cell. It’s a jelly-like substance that acts as a connective tissue between the nucleus and the cell membrane. Cell organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, ribosomes, vacuoles, etc. are suspended in the cytoplasm.

Cytoplasm Function

One of the main jobs of the cytoplasm is to help cells keep their turgor, which lets the cells keep their shape. Here are some more things that the cytoplasm does:

  1. All of the components of the cells are encased in the gelatinous cytoplasm that is contained inside the cell membrane. This cytoplasm is composed of salt and water and has a jelly-like consistency.
  2. The cytoplasm, which contains chemicals and enzymes required for waste decomposition, is the location of numerous cellular processes. Additionally assisting cytoplasmic metabolic activities.
  3. The cytoplasm is responsible for giving the cell its shape. It causes the cells to become full, which keeps the organelles in their proper locations. In the absence of cytoplasm, cells would become deflated and chemical substances would be unable to enter.
  4. Without cytoplasm, cells would shrivel up and it would be impossible for chemicals to move from one organelle to another inside the cell.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


FAQs on Structure and Function of Cytoplasm

Salts, enzymes, and other organelles are present in the cytoplasm, which is the fluid that makes up a cell and is confined inside the cell membrane.

The cytoplasm stores and protects the cell’s components. It provides the cell with its structure and stores the substances that the cell needs to function.

The part of a eukaryotic cell that is inside the cell/plasma membrane and outside the nuclear membrane is called the cytoplasm. Both plant and animal eukaryotic cells have cytoplasm made up of organelles that are attached to membranes or are not.

The cytosol, organelles, and inclusions are the three most important parts of the cytoplasm.