Cytoplasm

Definition - What does Cytoplasm mean?

The term cytoplasm was first coined in 18863 by Swiss anatomist Rudolf von Köllike. With a jelly-like consistency, cytoplasm refers to the substance that fills the living cells of a plant. Colorless and clear, cytoplasm is made up of 80% water. Its gel-like consistency tends to liquify when stirred or agitated. Covered by the plant’s cell membrane, cytoplasm also helps the plant eradicate waste products since it contains a concentrated amount of dissolved nutrients.


MaximumYield explains Cytoplasm

Most of the plant’s cellular activities occur within the cytoplasm, such as glycolysis and metabolic pathways. Processes in the likes of cellular division also happen within the cytoplasm. According to cell biologists, cytoplasm can also be an excellent conductor of electricity and contains different types of salts.

Some studies point to the fact that cytoplasm tends to behave like a sol-gel within plants. Cytoplasm consists of three main elements:

  • Inclusions: These tiny particles are made up of insoluble substances that remain suspended in the cytosol.


  • Organelles: Organelles literally translate to tiny organs and are bound to the cell membranes. The main organelles that are suspended in the plant’s cytosol are chloroplasts, lysosomes, vacuoles and the mitochondria.


  • Cytosol: Making up around 70% of cell volumes, cytosols are the parts of the cytoplasm that include various types of protein filaments that make up the plant’s cytoskeleton.
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