Cells are microscopic units that are related to each other to create more complex structures that will give rise to living organisms. The parts of the cell will be the same, regardless of their nature (animal or plant) and their functions, so let’s see what these components are in common.

  • More about cells: The 8 differences between animal and plant cells.

Organelles: the most basic parts of the cell Organelles
are all the elements that constitute the body of a cell and that allow each of these units to carry out their essential functions for life : movement, relationship between them nutrition and reproduction. In other words, the organelles are a kind of “organs” of the cell, such as the brain, the lungs or the heart in living beings.
However, considering that it may be prokaryotes or eukaryotes, some of the parts of the cell are not always in their composition, for example the nucleus, absent in the former. In the same way, plant cells have more organelles than animal cells, although it is true that both share the essential ones that we will see below.

The basic parts of the cell
As we said above, regardless of their condition and functions, cells are themselves living microorganisms composed of even smaller molecules that enable their survival. These are the structures common to all cells :

1. Plasma membrane
The “body” of the cell is surrounded by a double layer that protects essential organelles, such as the cytoplasm or the nucleus.This membrane allows each individual cell to differentiate between itself and the outside , in addition to being formed by two lipid coatings composed of hydrophilic and hydrophobic fatty acids.
In the first case, located at the head of the cell, they will allow the passage of nutrients dispersed in water and, in the second, located at the back, they will repel useless molecules and will not allow them to cross the bilayer. In this way, the plasma membrane fulfills a double function that contributes to the maintenance of the structure : it regulates the passage of beneficial substances into the cell and expels waste that is not needed.
As with other parts of the cell depending on its age, the plasma membrane of prokaryotes is composed of proteins different from the one that forms the walls of eukaryotes.

2. Cytoplasm
The cytoplasm is all the material contained within the cell without counting the nucleus , and its content is basically water mixed with organic and inorganic substances. In many cells two sections of the cytoplasm can be distinguished:

2.1. Ectoplasm
Section located in the most superficial part, below the plasmatic membrane and with more density, due to the gelatinous material that forms it. Unlike the second layer, it contains no organelles of any kind .

2.2. endoplasm
Thinnest section of cytoplasm, situated below the ectoplasm and close to the nucleus. It is inside the endoplasm where the main organelles of the cell are found (mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, centrioles, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, peroxisomes, lysosomes, chloroplasts and vacuoles), each of which will have its own role in the functioning of the cell. of the entire complex.
The cytoplasm, in turn, is made up of different sections:

2.3. Liquid cytosol
in which the other parts of the cell float , each with its own functions. It is a compound based on water, proteins and lipids.

2.4. plasma membrane
In addition to surrounding the cell from the outside, there are parts of the cell inside that also have a protective membrane, for example the mitochondria.
It is not surprising, then, that water is such an elemental factor in the body of many organisms, such as that of our species. If we think about it, humans are basically composed of water, so it is understandable that our cells are essentially that.

2.5. Cytoskeleton
As its name suggests, the cytoskeleton is one of the parts of the cell necessary to maintain the entire structure, a function to which the plasma membrane also contributes. Similarly, the cytoskeleton is also responsible for cell division and movement of the entire cell.(is the sustenance of cilia and flagella) and the organelles that are contained within.
However, despite being an essential component in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the protein substances that make up the filamentary network of the cytoskeletons of one and the other vary in complexity.

3. Nucleus
Of the parts of the cell it is probably the most important, since all the genetic information with the defining features of the individual is stored inside , in a substance whose name is “chromatin”. Within the same nucleus we find the nucleolus, a region that does not have a membrane that differentiates it from the other parts of this command center and that contains RNA (ribonucleic acid) and proteins, essential substances in the creation of ribosomes.
Put simply, the nucleus is a kind of “brain” of the cell, from which information is sent to the rest of the organelles for their operation. However, the nucleus as such only exists in eukaryotic cells, since prokaryotes have a “nucleoid”, a compartment without a cell membrane in which the rest of the organelles float.

4. Ribosomes
Ribosomes are groups of molecules divided into subunits, each of which has an essential role in the main function of what is one of the basic cell parts in all of them: synthesizing proteins to obtain energy .

  • To know more: The 11 types of cells: beyond eukaryotes and prokaryotes.