Cell Ultrastructure Notes

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Sunday, 23 September 2012
F211 Module 1 Cell Ultrastructure
Weekly Learning Outcomes
Describe and interpret drawings and photographs of eukaryotic cells as seen under an electron
microscope and be able to recognise the following structures: nucleus, nucleolus, nuclear envelope,
rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, mitochondria,
lysosomes, chloroplasts, plasma (cell surface) membrane, centrioles, flagella and cilia.
Outline the functions of the structures listed above.
Outline the interrelationship between the organelles involved in the production and secretion of
proteins (no detail of protein synthesis is required).
Explain the importance of the cytoskeleton in providing mechanical strength to cells, aiding
transport within cells and enabling cell movement.
Compare and contrast, with the aid of diagrams and electron micrographs, the structure of
prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells.
Compare and contrast, with the aid of diagrams and electron micrographs, the structure and
ultrastructure of plant cells and animal cells.
Characteristics of Living Things
All living things are said to have seven characteristics, these are;
o Movement
o Respiration
o Sensitivity
o Nutrition
o Excretion
o Reproduction
o Growth
However some bacteria do not respire but use other chemical reactions to obtain energy.
Each function of every single living cell is carried out by a special function that is specialised for the
particular task.
Organelles and Ultrastructure
Under a standard light microscope the most obvious
feature that can be seen is the cells nucleus. Each individual
structure in a cell is an organelle. When using an electron
microscope it becomes easier to see these and a larger
range of organelles can be discovered. The detail inside
each organelle is called the cells ultrastructure (sometimes
known as fine structure).
Division of Labour
Most organelles are found both in plant and animal cells.
They have the same functions in each type of cell. Each
type of organelle has specific role within the cell. This is

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The different organelles work together in a cell, each contributing its part to the
survival of the cell.
Movement and Stability in Cells
Cytoskeleton ­ Cells contain a network of fibres made of
protein. These fibres keep the cell's shape stable by providing n
internal framework called the cytoskeleton.
Flagella ­ In eukaryotes (organisms that have cells with nuclei)
flagella ­ correctly called undulipodia ­ and cilia are structurally the
same.…read more

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Undulipodium Moves sperm cells and gametes of
(plural undulipodia) some plants (e.g.…read more

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Sewage treatment and natural recycling rely on bacterial cells digesting and respiring dead and waste
Amino acid ­ Are organic compounds that contains both an amino acid group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group
(-COOH). Amino acids are the monomers of protein molecules.
ATP ­ Adenosine triphosphate ­ a molecule used to store energy temporarily in organisms. The molecule is
broken down to adenosine diphosphate + phosphate to release energy to drive metabolic respiration.…read more

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Eukaryote - An organism having cells with a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
Eukaryotic cell ­ Cells that have a nucleus inside a nuclear envelope, and other membrane-bound
Gene - A length of DNA that carries the code for the synthesis of one (or more) specific polypeptides.
Glucose - A 6-carbon monosaccharide sugar.
Golgi apparatus - Are membrane-bound organelle in eukaryotic cells.…read more

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Respiration ­ The process in which energy is released from complex molecules.
Ribosome ­ The organelle, made of two subunits, on which proteins are synthesised inside the cell.
RNA ­ Plays a part in the synthesis of proteins within cells.
Spindle ­ A structure consisting of protein fibres found in eukaryotic cells during cell division.
Chromosomes become attached to the spindle at their centromeres, and spindle fibres guide the
movement of chromosomes to the opposite end of the cell at telophase.…read more


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