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Cytoplasm can be defined as a thick solution that fills each cell and is enclosed by the cell membrane. It is mainly composed of water, salts, and proteins. In eukaryotic cells, the cytoplasm includes all of the material inside the cell and outside of the nucleus.

Fundamentally cytoplasm is the constituent that occupies the space of the cell. It is a jelly-like constituent and it is 80% water and is generally pure and pale. It melts when it is frantic or stirred. Cytoplasm is stated as cytosol, which implies ingredient of the cell. The cell membrane surrounds the cytoplasm and it also surrounds the nucleus and the cellular organelles. Cytoplasm comprises of the cytoskeleton which provides the cell its shape. The cytoplasm is made of liquefied nutrients and it supports to dissolve discarded products. It aids the motion of the cellular constituents around the cell by a process termed as cytoplasmic streaming. Cytoplasm also contains several salts and is a good conductor of electricity.

Bacterial Cytoplasm

Cytoplasmic structure:

Cytoplasm is the liquid where the organelles are suspended. It occupies the spaces which are not filled up by the organelles. The ingredients of cytoplasm are cytosol, organelles and cytoplasmic inclusions.


Cytosol makes up about 70%-80% of the capacity of the cell. It comprises of water, salts and organic fragments. Cytosol is made of a combination of cytoskeleton fibers, organic and inorganic compounds that are mixed in water. It also possesses protein filaments that constituents the cytoskeleton, soluble proteins and structures like ribosomes, proteasomes. The inner, more liquefied and granular region of the cytoplasm is referred as the endoplasm. The web of fibers and high absorptions of the dissolved macromolecules like proteins is responsible for macromolecular assembling.


Organelles are membrane bound cellular structures which are present in the cytoplasm. They reside inside the cell and accomplish specific functions that are essential for the existence of the cell. Some of the components of the cell that are present in the cytosol are organelles like mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, vacuoles, lysosomes and chloroplasts.

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Cytoplasmic Inclusions

The cytoplasmic inclusions are minute particles present in the cytosol. A massive range of inclusion bodies are present in different types of cell types. The different inclusions present are calcium oxalate crystals or silicon dioxide crystals of plants in order to store granule like starch, glycogen, etc. Lipid droplets are also example of inclusion bodies, which are spherical droplets, made of lipids and protein particles and are present in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms as an intermediate to stock lipids like fatty acids and sterols. These drops occupy the volume of adipocytes which are specific storage cells, and are also found in other cell types.

Functions of cytoplasm:

  • Cytoplasm is the site where many biochemical reactions are carried out which are essential for maintaining life.
  • The cytoplasm is the site where the cell extends and expands as it grows.
  • The cytoplasm acts as a medium for the suspension of organelles.
  • The cytoskeleton present in the cytoplasm gives shape to the cell and it also aids movement.
  • It also facilitates the movement of the different cellular contents
  • The enzymes present in the cytoplasm digest the macromolecules into much small parts for their proper digestion and availability for the other cellular organelles like mitochondria.

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