Golgi Body : Structure and Functions

Golgi body is a flattened, membrane-bounded, parallely arranged sacs and other vesicles usually located near the nucleus in the cytoplasmic matrix of almost all eukaryotic cells. It is also known as Golgy complex, Golgi apparatus, Golgiosome, Lipochondria and in the plant cell, it is also called Dictyosome. Camillo Golgi first observed it in the nerve cell of barn owl in 1898.

Occurrence: They are generally present in the cytoplasm near the nucleus but in the glandular cells, they are located between the nucleus and apex of the cell.

Structure of the Golgi body: Its shape varies from cell to cell. It is large in nerve cell and small in muscle cells. The nerve cell, liver cell and most of the plant cells contain multiple Golgi bodies. The Golgi body forms from plasma membrane, nuclear envelop and endoplasmic reticulum. Generally, Golgi body consists of three membranous components such as:

  • Cisternae
  • Small tubules and vesicles
  • Large vacuoles
Image of Eukaryotic cell

Eukaryotic cell Showing Golgi Body

Cisternae: They are parallely arranged sacs like structure which are covered by smoothed-surfaced single membrane and piled one upon the other to form stacks. The number of sacs in the stack ranges from 3-20 in number which depends on the cell type. They are usually equally spaced in the stack.

Small vesicles: The vesicles are small droplet-like sacs and originate from the cisternae by building or “pinching off” process.

Large vacuoles: They are clear and large sac-like structures. They contain electron-dense materials.

Golgi body

Golgi body showing secretory vesicles

Functions of Golgi body

  • It plays an important role to form the cell wall at the end of the mitosis cell division.
  • They help to form new plasma membrane.
  • They form primary lysosomes.
  • They take part in the protein secretion.
  • Golgi body takes part in the formation of acrosome of the sperm.
  • It is responsible for neurosecretion.
  • They play an important role in the transport of lipids throughout the cells.
  • It releases the protein molecule out of the cell.
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