Golgi Apparatus: Definition & Function

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derrick Arrington

Derrick has taught biology and chemistry at both the high school and college level. He has a master's degree in science education.

Eukaryotic cells contain many organelles to carry out their life functions. One of these important organelles is known as the Golgi apparatus. In this lesson, we'll learn about the structure and function of this organelle.

Definition of Golgi Apparatus

Think about all of the processes that happen at a post office. Mail is received from various senders, then processed and routed to the proper recipient. In a lot of ways, the Golgi apparatus is like the post office or shipping and receiving department of a cell.

The Golgi apparatus is a cellular organelle that packages and sorts proteins and other molecules before they are sent to their final destination. It was identified by an Italian physician named Camillo Golgi, hence the name.

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  • 0:05 Definition of Golgi Apparatus
  • 0:34 Structure of Golgi Apparatus
  • 1:09 Function of Golgi Apparatus
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Structure of Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi apparatus can be found in the cytoplasm of both plant and animal cells. Cytoplasm is the intracellular fluid that fills cells. The Golgi is composed of cisternae that are membrane-bound structures stacked together. These stacks can range in size from two cisternae to 60. In mammal cells, it is common for there to be 40-100 of these stacks. Stacking of the cisternae provides a large amount of surface area on the membranes for reactions and processes to take place.

Function of Golgi Apparatus

Cells manufacture a wide variety of different large molecules including proteins. When many of these molecules are constructed, they are packaged in a vesicle. You can think of a vesicle like a shipping envelope for a cell. Once packaged, the vesicles are moving to the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi opens these packages and modifies the contents to their final form.

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