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noun, plural: cytoplasms

The contents of a cell surrounded by the cell membrane, except for the nucleus in the eukaryotic cell


The cytoplasm is the jelly-like substance of the cell. It pertains to all the contents of a cell except that in a eukaryotic cell it does not include the nucleus. In a eukaryotic cell, the cytoplasm is made up of the cytosol, the vesicles, the cytoskeleton, the inclusions and the organelles except for the nucleus. The cytoplasm of a eukaryotic cell is that part of the cell between the cell membrane and the nuclear envelope. In fact, the cytoplasm and the nucleus make up the protoplasm of a eukaryotic cell.

In prokaryotic cells that do not have a well-defined nucleus, the cytoplasm is simply everything enclosed by the cell membrane. It therefore contains the cytosol, and all the other cellular components, including the chromosome in the nucleoid region.

The cytoplasm (of both eukaryotes and prokaryotes) is where the functions for cell expansion, growth, metabolism, and replication are carried out.

Word origin: Greek kyto-, kýtos ("container", "receptacle", "body") + Greek plásma


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