What are cellular organelles and their characteristics

Cells are the basic unit of living beings, in which metabolic, repair and energy production functions are carried out, among many others. These activities are carried out by various internal elements of the cell, which are known as cellular organelles.

Each one has particular characteristics and is specialized. If you want to know what cellular organelles are, their functions and examples , we invite you to continue reading this article.

What are cellular organelles and their characteristics

The organelles or organelles of cells are the equivalent of organs in the body. That is, they are small components that carry out the functions of a cell . Thanks to these organelles, the cell subdivides activities. Each one is specialized to fulfill their respective functions.

As we mentioned, these organelles are inside the cell. In turn, they are suspended above the cytoplasm , a watery substance that supports them. Another important characteristic is that the organelles are delimited from the outside by a membrane , grouping them all within the cell. Thanks to this membrane we can distinguish between the extracellular and intracellular content, where the organelles are.

Cells can vary from one to another, depending on the organelles they have or lack, and this is how we have two large groups that are distinguished by a particular organelle:

Prokaryotic cells: they lack a nucleus that encompasses the genetic material. Bacteria and archaea have this type of cell.

Functions of cellular organelles

Cells are the basic unit of life, and as such, they carry out the same activities as a living being: they breathe, reproduce and die . But in addition to them, there are other functions that are essential for proper functioning. Each of these functions is completed by different organelles, and below we summarize which are the main ones.

  • Storage: living beings exist with certain characteristics thanks to their genetic information, and this is encoded in DNA molecules inside cells, arranged in chromosomes. Specifically, this occurs within the core.
  • Genetic expression: information is useful when it is expressed, and this also occurs thanks to the cellular organelles that interpret the information stored in the nucleus.
  • Cell division: for a cell to multiply, it goes through a division process in which two cells will be formed from one. Since the organelles are different in each type of cell, there are also variations in the type of division. In prokaryotes we have binary fission, while in eukaryotes it is called mitosis or meiosis, the latter happening in sexual cells that need genetic recombination. This also happens in the cell nucleus. To learn more about this function, we recommend reading Cellular Playback .
  • Apoptosis: This is the scientific term used to refer to programmed cell death. It occurs when there is damage, where the cell decides to eliminate itself to prevent such damage from continuing to spread. Here signals are activated that trigger the stoppage of functions in various organelles, but in which the stoppage of the mitochondria is the most decisive and leads the cell to death.
  • Energy production: to complete any process it is necessary to have energy. Organelles are no exception, and use other organelles to function as energy producers. These are the mitochondria and chloroplasts.
  • Transport: all organelles must communicate with each other to function as machinery. For this, there are organelles responsible for packaging and transporting different molecules from one place to another. The organelles that carry out this function are the Golgi apparatus, vacuoles and endoplasmic reticulum.
  • It is important to emphasize that each function is carried out by a particular and specialized organelle. Now we will present you with some examples of cellular organelles so that you can contextualize the information that we have presented to you so far.


Examples of cellular organelles

Cellular organelles may or may not be present in the cell. This will depend on its origin, as we present below.

Nucleus: it is decisive to know what type a cell is. This is where the genetic material is encapsulated. In prokaryotic cells that lack it, the chromosomes are only grouped towards one pole of the cell.

Chloroplasts: they are only found in plant cells or in organisms with photosynthetic capacity. Within them they have pigments that capture sunlight, necessary as a form of energy to complete the functions of other organelles. You may also be interested in Photosynthesis: definition and phases .

Mitochondria: animals also have an organelle to produce energy, and it is the mitochondria. This process is known as cellular respiration.

Now that you know what cellular organelles are, their functions and examples, you may also be interested in reading this article on The cell cycle, stages and types .

Related Posts

© 2023 Perbedaannya.Com