Cell Organelles

Cell organelles are the internal organs of a cell responsible for carrying out specific jobs to keep the cell alive.  In fact, the word organelle is just a big word which means small organ. These organelles are responsible for providing all the needs of the cell. They work to bring in food supplies, get rid of waste, protect the cell, repair the cell, and help it grow or reproduce.

Image of animal cell and plant cell

Cell Organelles are much like organs in our body.  Each one has a specific job to complete for the cell. And, if one organelle within the cell stops completing its job, then the cell will die.

Animal cell and plant cell organelles are listed below. Do you see any cell organelles that exist in both an animal cell and plant cell?  Which organelles are different?  To make it easier we have color-coded each organelle name.  If the name is green then it exists only in a plant cell.  If the name is blue then it only exists in an animal cell.  And if the name is purple then the organelle exists in both cell types.

Animal Cell Organelles

Image of an animal cell diagram with each organelle labeled

Animal cell diagram with each organelle labeled

  • Cell Membrane – Protects the cell and regulates molecules entering and leaving the cell
  • Cytoplasm – Helps hold the cell’s organelles in place
  • Nucleus – Stores the DNA and coordinates the cell’s activities, basically, it is the brain
  • Ribosomes – Build protein for the cell to use
  • Lysosomes – Break down waste into simple compounds for other organelles to use
  • Mitochondria – Convert oxygen and nutrients into energy
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum – Manufactures and transports chemical compounds to and from the nucleus
  • Golgi Apparatus – Modifies proteins and fats built in the cell and prepares them for storage or transports them outside the cell
  • Peroxisomes – Digest toxic materials in the cell
  • Vacuole – Stores waste products and maintains the PH level of the cell
  • Centrioles – Help the cell divide during mitosis and meiosis
  • Secretory Vesicles – Releases materials from the cell, usually waste from the cell
  • Microvilli – Absorb nutrients for the cell and help with cell movement
  • Cytoskeleton – Provides structural support for the cell
  • Microtubules – Provide structural support for the cytoskeleton and connect to chromosomes during cell division
  • Microfilaments – Provide structural support for the cytoskeleton

Plant Cell Organelles

Image of a plant cell diagram with each organelle labeled

Plant cell diagram with each organelle labeled

  • Cell Membrane – Protects the cell and regulates molecules entering and leaving the cell
  • Cell Wall – Main protection barrier of plant cells
  • Cytoplasm – Helps hold the cell’s organelles in place
  • Cytoskeleton – Provides structural support for the cell
  • Chloroplast – Converts sunlight to energy by a process called photosynthesis
  • Nucleus – Stores the DNA and coordinates the cell’s activities, basically, it is the brain
  • Ribosomes – Build protein for the cell to use
  • Lysosomes – Break down waste into simple compounds for other organelles to use
  • Mitochondria – Convert oxygen and nutrients into energy
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum – Manufactures and transports chemical compounds to and from the nucleus
  • Golgi Apparatus – Modifies proteins and fats built in the cell and prepares them for storage or transports them outside the cell
  • Peroxisomes – Digest toxic materials in the cell
  • Vacuole – Stores waste products and maintains the PH level of the cell
  • Plasmodesmata – Enables transport of material and communication to adjacent cells
  • Vesicle – Transports materials within the cell and help store enzymes

 

Written by: Lauren Lacey