What you’ll learn to do: Identify membrane-bound organelles found in eukaryotic cells
Have you ever heard the phrase “form follows function?” It’s a philosophy practiced in many industries. In architecture, this means that buildings should be constructed to support the activities that will be carried out inside them. For example, a skyscraper should be built with several elevator banks; a hospital should be built so that its emergency room is easily accessible.
Our natural world originated the principle of form following function, especially in cell biology, and this will become clear as we explore eukaryotic cells. Unlike prokaryotic cells, eukaryotic cells have:
- a membrane-bound nucleus
- numerous membrane-bound organelles—such as the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and others
- several, rod-shaped chromosomes
Because a eukaryotic cell’s nucleus is surrounded by a membrane, it is often said to have a “true nucleus.” The word “organelle” means “little organ,” and, as already mentioned, organelles have specialized cellular functions, just as the organs of your body have specialized functions.