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Actin Filament

component of cytoskeleton; plays a role in the movement of the cell and its organelles; a protein filament in a sarcomere of a muscle, its movement shortens the sarcomere yielding contraction


member of the prokaryotic domain archaea


aerobic rod-shaped spore-producing bacterium

basal body

cytoplasmic structure that is located at the base of and may organize cilia or flagella


A sticky layer that surrounds the cell walls of some bacteria, protecting the cell surface and sometimes helping to glue the cell to surfaces.


smallest unit of life that displays all the properties of life; composed of cytoplasm surrounded by a membrane

cell envelope

in a prokaryotic cell, the portion composed of the plasma membrane, the cell wall and the gycocalyx

cell theory

idea that all living things are composed of cells, cells are the basic units of structure and function in living things, and new cells are produced from existing cells

cell wall

cellular structure that surrounds a plant, protistan, fungal or bacterial cell and maintains the cells shape and rigidity

central vacuole

in a plant cell a large fluid filled sac that stores metabolites. During growth it enlarges forcing primary cell wall to expand and the cell surface area to volume ratio to increase


in animal cells, a cytoplasmic organelle that organizes the mitotic spindle fibers during cell reproductions


Central microtubule organizing center of cells. In animal cells, it contains two centrioles.


Membrane-bounded organelle in algae and plants with chlorophyll-containing membranous thylakoids; where photosynthesis takes place


threadlike structure within the nucleus containing the genetic information that is passed from one generation of cells to the next... composed of condensed chromatin


short hairlike projection similar to a flagellum; produces movement in many cells


any spherical or nearly spherical bacteria

conjugation pili

in a bacterium, elongated, hollow appendage used to transfer DNA to other cells


Short, fingerlike projections formed by the folding of the inner membrane of mitochondria.


Photosynthetic bacterium that contains chlorophyll and releases oxygen; formerly called a blue-green alga


the entire region of the cell between the nucleus and the plasma membrane


Internal framework of the cell, consisting of microtubules, actin filaments, and intermediate filaments.

endomembrane system

cellular system that consists of the nuclear envelope, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and vesicles

endoplasmic reticulum

system of membranous saccules and channels in the cytoplasm, often with attached ribosomes

endosymbiotic theory

explanation of the evolution of eukaryotic organelles by phagocytosis of prokaryotes

eukaryotic cell

A type of cell with a membrane-enclosed nucleus and membrane-enclosed organelles. Excludes bacteria


small, bristlelike fiber on the surface of a bacterial cell, which attaches bacteria to a surface; also fingerlike extension from the oviduct near the ovary


a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa)


Unit of heredity existing as alleles are inherited- usually one from each parent


Gel like coating on the outside of a bacterium. If compact it is called a capsule, if diffuse it is called a slime layer

gogli apparatus

organelle consisting of sacs and vesicles that process, packages and distributes molecules about or from the cell


stack of chlorophyll-containing thylakoids in a chloroplast

intermediate filament

Ropelike assemblies of fibrous polypeptides in the cytoskeleton that provide support and strength to cells; so called because they are intermediate in size between actin filaments and microtubules.


plastid, generally colorless, that synthesizes and stores starch and oils


membrane bounded vesicle that contains hydrolytic enzymes for digesting macromolecules and bacteria, used to recycle worn out cellular organelles


Unstructured semifluid substance that fills the space between cells in connective tissues or inside organelles.


in a bacterium, plasma membrane that folds into the cytoplasm and increases surface area


Small, cylindrical organelle composed of tubulin protein around an empty central core; present in the cytoplasm, centrioles, cilia, and flagella.


membrane-bounded organelle in which ATP molecules are produced during the process of cellular respiration

motor molecule

protein that moves along either actin filaments or microtubules and translocates organelles

nuclear envelope

name for the phospholipid double membrane that separates the contents of the nucleus from the cytoplasm

nuclear pore

opening in the nuclear envelope that permits the passage of proteins into the nucleus and ribosomal subunits out of the nucleus


Where the DNA is concentrated in the prokaryotic cell; no membrane separates this region from the rest of the cell


Dark staining, spherical body in the nucleus that produces ribosomal subunits


semifluid medium of the nucleus containing chromatin


one of the small bodies that are found in the cytoplasm of a cell and that are specialized to perform a specific function


enzyme-filled vesicle in which fatty acids and amino acids are metabolized to hydrogen peroxide that is broken down to harmless products

plasma membrane

membrane surrounding the cytoplasm that consists of a phospholipid bilayer with embedded proteins; functions to regulate the entrance and exit of molecules from a cell


extrachromosomal ring of accessory DNA in the cytoplasm of prokaryotes


organelles of plants and algae that are bounded by a double membrane and contain internal membranes and/or vesicles (chloroplasts, chromoplasts, leucoplasts)


string of ribosomes simultaneously translating regions of the same mRNA strand during protein synthesis

prokaryotic cell

A type of cell lacking a membrane-enclosed nucleus and membrane-enclosed organelles; found only in the domains Bacteria and Archaea.


Site of protein synthesis; composed of proteins and ribosomal RNA

rough ER

Membranous system of tubules, vesicles and sacs in cells; has attached ribosomes


release of a substance by exocytosis from a cell

signal peptide

sequence of amino acids that binds with a signal recognition particle (srp) causing a ribosome to bind to the endoplasmic reticulum

smooth ER

membranous system of tubules, vesicles, and sacs in eukaryotic cells; lacks attached ribosomes


Long, rod-shaped bacterium that is twisted into a rigid spiral


Flexible, spiral-shaped bacterium.


Opening in the underside of a leaf epidermis that allows carbon dioxide and oxygen to (gases) diffuse into and out of the leaf

surface to area to volume ratio

For any cell, organism, or geometrical solid, the ratio of surface area to volume; this is an important factor in setting an upper limit on the size a cell or organism can attain.


flattened sac within a granum whose membrane contains chlorophyll and where the light reactions of photosynthesis occur.


in genetic engineering a means to transfer foreign genetic material into a cell


membrane bounded sac, larger than a vesicle, usually functions in storage and can contain a variety of substances, in plants the vacuole fills much of the interior of the cell


small membrane bounded sac that sores substances within a cell

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