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Functions of Cellular Components

The plasma membrane ~ It allows nutrients and other essential elements, such as respiratory gases, to enter the cell and waste materials to leave the cell. The cell wall ~ It maintains the shape of the plant cells, protecting the intracellular contents, giving support to the cells and providing mechanical strength. Cytoplasm ~ It supplies the substances required by the organelles. The nucleus ~ The chromatin contains chromosomes the genetic materials of a cell in the form of DNAs which characterise the cell to its specific characteristics and determine its metabolic functions. It acts as a control centre for cell activities. It produces ribosomes. Ribosomes ~ It is a site for the synthesis or production of proteins. Vacuoles ~ Vacuoles provide structural support and maintain the turgidity of cells. They also store sugar and amino acids in the sap. Rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) ~ The RER transports the protein synthesised by the ribosomes to other parts of the cell. The SER stimulates the synthesis of lipids and cholesterol and transports them within the cell. The mitochondrion ~ The mitochondrion acts as the site for cellular respiration where food is oxidized to generate energy. It is known as the power house of the cell as it produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy for the cell. / Generate energy or a site of energy. Chloroplast ~ The chloroplast conducts the process of photosynthesis. It also processes and packages the proteins that it receives from the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER). / Carry out photosynthesis.

The golgi apparatus ~ It receives proteins and lipids from the RER then modifies them to form specific secretions, such as enzymes and hormones which are transported to the membrane plasma to be secreted. The golgi apparatuses are also involved in the formation of lysosomes. Lysosomes ~ Lysosomes serve as digestion compartments for cellular materials that have exceeded their lifetime or are no longer useful. They break down cellular waste products, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and other macromolecules into simple compounds which are then transferred back into the cytoplasm as new cell-building materials. They are also used by white blood cells to destroy bacteria. Centriols ~ Centrioles are involved in cell separation through the processes of mitosis and meiosis. During cell separation, centrioles form spindles that help the movement of chromosomes