A jelly like substance which surrounds the brain of the cell or the nucleus is known as Cytoplasm. We have discussed cell facts in details and even talked about cell membrane. It is time to learn about cytoplasm facts without which there is no life. So let’s begin…

Cytoplasm Facts: 1-5

1. Cytoplasm is also called as cell substance. It is completely colorless. It is present in the space that lies between cell membrane and nucleus.

2. It consists of soluble ions and water. Cytoplasm is made of 80% water and the rest are fats, proteins, carbohydrates in dissolved form and salts. Because of the presence of salts and water, it is a good conductor of electricity.

3. Of the proteins that are present suspended in the cytoplasm, 20-25% are soluble proteins which even includes enzymes.

4. The main cell organelles that are found floating in the cytoplasm like golgi apparatus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes, centrosomes, chloroplasts (found only in plant cells), vacuoles (found in plant cells and some cells in animals) and ribosomes.

5. Cytoplasm is thick and when it is stirred, it liquefies. It is translucent or semi-transparent. It was discovered by Robert Brown and other scientists in the year 1835.

Cytoplasm Facts: 6-10

6. The cytoplasm which is immediately next to the cell membrane is called as the ectoplasm or plasmogel or cell cortex and the cytoplasm which is close to the nucleus is known as the endoplasm or plasmosol.

7. Ectoplasm is dense and is concerned with the cell movement whereas the endoplasm is less dense and holds the cell organelles. The ectoplasm can absorb or remove water from the cell according to the needs of the cell.

8. Cytoplasm which is present inside the nucleus is called as the nucleoplasm (nuclear membrane separates nucleoplasm and cytoplasm). It is seen only in eukaryotic cells. In prokaryotic cells, only cytoplasm is present and it is the one which contains the genetic material (prokaryotic cells don’t have nucleus).

9. Cytoplasm sometimes acts as an integrated network while at other times it acts like a colloidal or sol solution. Because of greater concentration of Cytoplasm components, the cytoplasm also acts like a glass.

10. Because of the presence of fibers (which are arranged in an organized way), the cytoplasm shows differential staining properties. The areas which get stained by the basic dyes are called as ergatoplasm. They are cytoplasm’s basophilic areas.

Cytoplasm Facts: 11-15

11. The cytoplasm in the animals cells is more than the plant cells. It is because the plant cells consists of many vacuoles which takes up the space. In plant cells, the cell wall gives a definite shape to the cell whereas in the animal cell, it is the cytoplasm which gives the shape.

12. There are three components of cytoplasm

  • The Cytosol – it is nearly 70% of the cytoplasm. It consists of water, organic molecules (carbohydrates, fats) , salts and proteins which make cytoskeleton filaments. It also contains soluble proteins like ribosomes, proteasomes etc. The system of filaments and organic molecules, proteins etc. causes macromolecular crowding which has an impact on the interaction among the components of cytoplasm.
  • The Cell Organelles – these are the small organs of the cell which are present between the nucleus and cell membrane. Cell organelles are found suspending in the cytosol.
  • The Cytoplasmic Inclusions – these are the small particles present in the cytosol. They may be tiny droplets of fat, protein or crystals of some chemical substances like calcium oxalate and silicon dioxide. Crystals are present in plants and are used to store starch, protein etc. and tiny lipid droplets (spherical in shape) are present in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. These lipid droplets are responsible for storing lipids like sterols and fatty acids.

13. Did you know that cytoplasm pH drops and it thickens when the cell goes into dormancy period? (Dormancy period is when there are unfavourable conditions for the cell growth and so, the cell stops growing and becomes nearly dead). When the conditions are favorable again, the cytoplasm’s pH increases, and the cytoplasm liquefies and the cell starts growing again.

14. Depending on these cellular activities’ level, cytoplasm is called as cytosol, if it is in liquefied state or cytogel, if it is in colloidal state.

15. Cytoplasm moves and along with it the cell organelles also moves. The movement of the cytoplasm and the cell organelles is called as the cytoplasmic streaming.

Cytoplasm Facts: 16-20

16. Cytoplasm acts as the site of biochemical reactions. Cell division, cell growth and cell expansion takes place in cytoplasm only. Cell organelles perform their functions in cytoplasm only.

17. It acts as a medium for the organelles to stay suspended in the cell. It transports genetic material and products of respiration in the cell.

18. The enzymes that are present in the cytoplasm break down the macromolecules so that they become available to organelles like mitochondria. It helps in cloning of the cells.

19. It gives the cell a particular shape and gives the mechanical support. It also protects nucleus and cell organelles from damage caused due to the collision of cells.

20. Cytoplasm, with the help of proteins, prevents grouping or mixing of cell organelles in the cell due to gravity.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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