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Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi apparatus is the organelle that modifies, packages and sorts proteins sent from the endoplasmic reticulum. It either stores the proteins are either in the cell or transfers them elsewhere.

3D illustration of the golgi apparatus

Golgi Apparatus Function

The Golgi apparatus (pronounced: GOL-JEE, sometimes called the Golgi body or Golgi complex) exists in both plant and animal cellsIt receives proteins and other molecules from the endoplasmic reticulum and makes them bigger and better.

The Golgi body receives simple proteins from the ER. It modifies these proteins to match the organism’s needs. Once finished, it packages the new protein in a new vesicle, sometimes a lysosome. It then gives the vesicle instructions on where to take the protein. The cell stores some of these proteins for later use, and others release to different parts of the organism. This is why the Golgi apparatus is often referred to as the “post office of the cell.”


Golgi apparatus abstract mesh background. Detailed illustration

Transport vesicles bring proteins in, and secretory vesicles carry proteins out


The Golgi apparatus works together with the endoplasmic reticulum, so these two organelles are right next to one another. Vesicles surround it on all sides. Transport vesicles bring proteins in from the endoplasmic reticulum, and secretory vesicles carry proteins out (sometimes as lysosomes).

The Golgi apparatus is a stack of membranes that somewhat resemble pancakes. Ribosomes are often found between the stacked membranes.
Cell structure, cross section of the cell detailed colorful anatomy with description

The Golgi body is located next to the endoplasmic reticulum

What’s a “Golgi”?

The namesake of the Golgi apparatus is Italian biologist Camillo Golgi. He discovered the organelle in 1898. However, the microscopes of the time could not see cells in great detail, so many scientists rejected his discovery. Eventually, the invention of the more powerful electron microscope (over 50 years later) finally verified Golgi’s discovery.
Written by: Hayden W. King