Video: Identifying Organelles in an Animal Cell

The diagram provided shows a basic animal cell. a) What organelle is represented by label 1? b) What organelle is represented by label 2? c) What organelle is represented by label 3?

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Video Transcript

The diagram provided shows a basic animal cell. What organelle is represented by label one? What organelle is represented by label two? What organelle is represented by label three?

This question is asking us to identify the different parts of an animal cell. An animal cell is a type of eukaryotic cell. Eukaryotic cells possess membrane-bound organelles, as well as a nucleus in which the DNA is stored, as opposed to prokaryotic cells, such as bacteria, which do not possess those things. Also, since we know this is an animal cell, we know that this cell will not contain a cell wall or any chloroplasts, which you might find the cells of plants and some protists, which are also eukaryotic. In order to answer this question, we’ll go ahead and label all the structures that are visible in this basic animal cell diagram.

First, we see the cell membrane. The cell membrane separates the inside of the cell from the environment around it. It also controls what enters and leaves the cell. The cytoplasm is the jelly-like filling of the cell. The cytoplasm is made mostly of water, salts, and proteins. All of the organelles within the cell are embedded snugly within the cytoplasm. Next, we have the nuclear membrane and the nucleus. The nuclear membrane is a double membrane. It’s represented here by a dashed-line because it possesses pores that allow materials to move in and out of the nucleus.

The nucleus contains the DNA that controls the activities of the cell. It also contains some other things like RNA and ribosomes. The last structure visible in this diagram are the mitochondria. The mitochondria are small, bean-shaped organelles represented here in red. They have a folded, layered inner membrane that’s shown in this diagram by the small black lines you see within each mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for carrying out cellular respiration, in which glucose and oxygen are used to produce ATP, which is used for cellular energy, and carbon dioxide, which is given off as waste.

Now, we’re ready to answer our question. Based on what we’ve learned, we know that the organelle represented by label one must be a mitochondria. And label two is pointing to the nucleus of the cell. And the organelle represented by label three is the cell membrane.

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