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Organelle Structure and Function

Organisms are composed of cells, and these cells have specific structures
within in them that allow them to carry out their functions. These structures are
called Organelles. The fine detail of the cell (which may be revealed by
an electron microscope) is called the cell's ultrastructure. Organelles
perform different functions within a cell, and this is called theDivision of

Membrane Bound Organelles

The Nucleus is the largest organelle in a cell. It contains a dense structure

called the Nucleolus and is surrounded by the Nuclear Envelope, a structure
composed of two membranes, seperated by fluid, which contain a number of
nuclear pores that can allow relatively large molecules through. The nucleus
contains nearly all of the cell's genetic material.
The Nucleolus creates Ribonucleic Acid and Ribosomes, which then travel
out of the nucleus, through the nuclear pores, to the cytoplasm where they are
involced in Protein Synthesis.

The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) is found near the Nucleas and is made
up of a number of flattened sacs called Cisternae, which are continuous with
the Nuclear Envelope. The Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum is called so
because it has a lot of Ribosomes on its outer surface. The Smooth
Endoplasmic Reticulum however, does not have Ribosomes. The

Roughtransports proteins that are synthesised in the Ribosomes, and

the Smooth synthesises Lipids.

The Golgi Apparatus is a stack of membrane bound flattened sacs,

and are responsible for the modification of proteins received from the ER.
These proteins are then transported in vesicles around the cell.

Lysosomes are membrane bound spherical sacs which

contain digestive enzymes used to break down materials, such as nonself microorganisms engulfed by Phagocytes.

Mitochondria are round double membrane bound

organellesresponsible for Aerobic Respiration. Their inner membrane is
foldedinside to form Cristae, which are folded in the Matrix - the central part
of a Mitochondrion. During Aerobic Respiration, ATP is produced in the

Found only in plants and some protoctists, Chloroplasts are responsible

for Photosynthesis. Chloroplasts contain two fluid separated
membranes and the inner membrane is folded into a network
offlattened sacs called Thylakoids that are stacked into Grana (one
Granum, two Grana). The Thylakoids contain Chlorophyll in which the
process of Photosynthesis occurs.

Vesicles are membrane bound sacs that are used to store or transport
substances around the cell. Lysosomes are actually Vesicles.

Vacuoles are essentially larger Vesicles, and they are formed by

thejoining together of many Vesicles. They are membrane bound
organelles that have no specific shape and contain water with a number
of different compounds within it. Their function varies greatly
depending on the type of cell they are part of. In plant cells they are
important in maintaining Turgor Pressure.

Non Membrane Bound Organelles

Ribosomes are small spherical organelles, composed of two subunits,

which can be found on the Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum (and also in the
cytoplasm and in mitochondria, and other places). Ribosomestranslate
genetic information in the form of mRNA into proteins.

Centrioles are microtubules found next to the nucleus of animal cells

and some protoctists. They move Chromosomes around by
formingfibres called Spindle, during cell division.