Protoplasm: Definition And Function

Protoplasm Definition

Protoplasm, the cytoplasm, and nucleus of a cell. The term was first defined in 1835 as the ground substance of living material and, hence, responsible for all living processes. Advocates of the protoplasm concept implied that cells were either fragments or containers of protoplasm.

What is protoplasm?

Protoplasm is an organized colloidal complex of organic and inorganic substances (such as proteins and water) that constitutes the living nucleus, cytoplasm, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell

The word protoplasm is generally used to refer to the living parts of a cell, but it can have slightly different meanings in different cycles. However, the term protoplasm is not used much nowadays because it was originally used to imply that a cell contains only two components, a nucleus, and a simple, homogeneous cytoplasm.

Nowadays, we know that the cytoplasm is very complex and that it contains intricate organelles. Even so, in eukaryotes like plants and animals, we refer to the protoplasm outside the nucleus as the cytoplasm and the protoplasm inside the nucleus as the nucleoplasm. In prokaryotes, the contents of a cell are collectively called the cytoplasm.

what is the function of protoplasm?

Protoplasm contains the genetic material of a cell. It also controls the activity of the cell. The first component of the protoplasm is the cytoplasm, which in eukaryotes exists between the cell membrane and the nucleus.

Here are the organelles with various essential functions. The cytoplasm is responsible for maintaining an environment in which the various organelles within it can perform their functions

For example, in plants, the cytoplasm is the site of some very important photosynthesis reactions. The cytoplasm also plays a role in maintaining cell shape and storing the chemicals and substances the organelles need. The fact that it is liquid also means that substances migrate within one cell and can be easily transported to other cells.

what is protoplasm?
Diagram of protoplasm

The second element in the composition of the protoplasm is the nucleus. It contains the genetic material of a cell or an organism. It also plays a role in controlling the activity of the cell. In addition, the nucleus is placed where ribosomes, which are essential for the production of proteins in the cell, are made. Prokaryotes do not contain a nucleus but have a region called the nucleoid, in which their genetic information is located.

Molecules, including proteins, fats, enzymes, hormones, and other substances, are of course all part of the make-up of the protoplasm. We can find these substances either dissolved or suspended in the water component of the protoplasm. So the protoplasm is quite fascinating and complex and not plain or simple at all.

protoplasm explanation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is protoplasm?


Protoplasm is an organized colloidal complex of organic and inorganic substances (such asĀ proteinsĀ and water) that constitutes the living nucleus, cytoplasm, plastids, and mitochondria of the cell
The word protoplasm is generally used to refer to the living parts of a cell, but it can have slightly different meanings in different cycles. However, the term protoplasm is not used much nowadays because it was originally used to imply that a cell contains only two components, a nucleus, and a simple, homogeneous cytoplasm.

What is protoplasm?

Protoplasm is a mixture of small molecules like ions, monosaccharides, amino acids and macromolecules like proteins, polysaccharides, lipids etc.

What is the primary function of protoplasm?

Protoplasm contains the genetic material of a cell. It also controls the activity of the cell.

Who coined the term protoplasm?


J.E. Purkinje coined the term protoplasm.

What is the difference between a protoplast and a protoplasm?


Protoplasts are isolated cells devoid of the cell wall. It is bounded by plasmalemma. On the contrary, protoplasm is a complex, translucent substance that contains living matter of plants and animals.

Is cell membrane a part of protoplasm?


Protoplasm comprises the living part of the cell. It includes cytoplasm, nucleus and other organelles. Protoplasm is enclosed within the cell membrane, but itself is not a part of protoplasm.

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