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Cell components and their functions

Updated on March 15, 2013

"Cell is the structural and functional unit of living organisms".


Cells vary considerably in shape, size, structure and function. Consequently, there is no typical cell. However , all of them share some common features. Let us discuss ...

Plasma membrane

  • Protect the cytoplasm
  • Maintains selective permeability.
  • Regulates the movement of water and minerals.
  • Helps in protein synthesis and excretion of waste materials.


  • Provides site for enzyme activity
  • Regulates different plant metabolisms like glycolysis, pentose phosphate shunt and fat hydrolysis etc.

Cell organelles and their functions

Electron microscopic studies have revealed that each cell contains in it several living sub cellular particles called cell organelles which perform different functions. The chief cell organelles are mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, plastids (only in plants) , golgi body and nucleus etc.



  • Apparatus of hereditary
  • Control hereditary characters

Nuclear membrane

  • Regulates movement of materials entering and coming out of nucleus
  • Separates cytoplasm from nuceloplasm


  • Acts as reservoir of various enzymes and nucleotides


  • Formation of ribosomes
  • Helps in cell division
  • Synthesis of RNA and protein
  • Reservoir of RNA

Chloroplast Structure
Chloroplast Structure



  • Photosynthesis
  • Synthesis of starch(in green cells), protein and fatty acids
  • Hereditary and mutation
  • Stroma is the site for dark reaction of photosyntheisis.
  • Grana is the site for light reaction of photosyntheisis.

Amayloplast: storage and synthesis of starch in non green cells

Lipoplasts- Storage and synthesis of lipids

Proteinoplast- storage of proteins

Chrmoplast-synthesis of coloured substances


  • Help in oxidation of food materials
  • Work ass power house of the cell
  • Act as site of Kreb’ s cycle, Oxidative phosphorylation and produce ATP.


  • Act as site and help in protein synthesis

Endoplasmic reticulam (ER)

  • Provides mechanical strength to the cell and helps in transportation of materials.
  • Provides surface area for several chemical reactions
  • Helps in metabolism of cholesterol and steroid hormones
  • Provides site for protein synthesis.
  • Granular ER helps in protein synthesis and smooth ER synthesis

Golgi bodies ( Dictyosomes)

  • Help in the formation of primary lysosomes, vacuoles and cell plate
  • Help in production of hormone
  • Help in intercellular transport
  • Store protein and fat
  • Help in membrane transformation and secretion


  • Digest external and intercellular materials
  • Autolysis


  • Formation of spindle during cll division in animal cells


  • Store cell sap
  • Maintain osmotic relations of cell


a) Glyoxysome

  • Conversion of fat into carbohydrates.

b) Peroxysome:

  • Helps in photorespiration
  • Helps in glycolate metabolism

C) Sphaerosomes:

  • Synthesis fat
  • Storage and translocation of fat

d) Lomasomes

  • Synthesis of cell wall


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