glycocalyx (components external to the plasma membrane)
cytoskeleton - microfilaments and microtubules that suspend organelles, give shape, and
presence of characteristic membrane enclosed subcellular organelles
Characteristic biomembranes and organelles
A lipid/protein/carbohydrate complex, providing a barrier and containing transport and
Double membrane surrounding the chromosomes and the nucleolus. Pores allow specific
communication with the cytoplasm. The nucleolus is a site for synthesis of RNA making up
Surrounded by a double membrane with a series of folds called cristae. Functions in energy
production through metabolism. Contains its own DNA, and is believed to have originated as
a captured bacterium.
Surrounded by a double membrane, containing stacked thylacoid membranes. Responsible for
photosynthesis, the trapping of light energy for the synthesis of sugars. Contains DNA,
and like mitochondria is believed to have originated as a captured bacterium.
Rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER)
A network of interconnected membranes forming channels within the cell. Covered with
ribosomes (causing the "rough" appearance) which are in the process of
synthesizing proteins for secretion or localization in membranes.
Protein and RNA complex responsible for protein synthesis.
Smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER)
A network of interconnected membranes forming channels within the cell. A site for
synthesis and metabolism of lipids. Also contains enzymes for detoxifying chemicals
including drugs and pesticides.
A series of stacked membranes. Vesicles (small membrane surrounded bags) carry materials
from the RER to the Golgi apparatus. Vesicles move between the stacks while the proteins
are "processed" to a mature form. Vesicles then carry newly formed membrane and
secreted proteins to their final destinations including secretion or membrane
A membrane bound organelle that is responsible for degrading proteins and membranes in the
cell, and also helps degrade materials ingested by the cell.
Membrane surrounded "bags" that contain water and storage materials in plants.
Peroxisomes or Microbodies
Produce and degrade hydrogen peroxide, a toxic compound that can be produced during