Cell Biology

Golgi Apparatus Definition, Structure, Functions, and Diagram

The principal purpose for Golgi's main function is Golgi apparatus is to transfer vesicles or packets of different cell products, to various...

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This article writter by Sourav Bio on December 26, 2021

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Golgi Apparatus Definition, Structure, Functions, and Diagram
Golgi Apparatus Definition, Structure, Functions, and Diagram

Golgi Apparatus Overview

The principal purpose for Golgi’s main function is Golgi apparatus is to transfer vesicles or packets of different cell products, to various areas of the cell. The Golgi is also involved in tagging vesicles by sugar molecules and proteins which act as identifiers of the vesicles, allowing them to be delivered to the right destination. The organelle can also be referred to as Golgi body. Golgi complex, or Golgi body.

In general, proteins and other cells are made in the endoplasmic Reticulum. The rough endoplasmic retina contains several ribosomes that assemble proteins based on instructions inside messenger RNA. Through the rest of the endoplasmic retina proteins are folded and altered. Once they are in to the Golgi apparatus, further modifications are carried out. Then, the proteins are contained in vesicles that can be “labeled” by other proteins and molecules. The vesicles are released , and dependent on their labels or tags they are transported to the correct position within the cell by the cell’s cytoskeleton.


Due to its huge dimensions and unique structure Due to its size and distinctive structure, due to its distinctive shape and size, Golgi apparatus was among the first organelles examined in detail. It was first discovered during the year 1898 by Italian doctor Camillo Golgi in the course of an investigation into the nerve system. After first seeing it with a microscope Golgi referred to the structure as an apparato reticolare internalo (“internal retinal apparatus”). Many doubted the findings initially, insisting that this appearance was an optical illusion produced by the observation technique employed by Golgi. After the advent of modern microscopes during the 20th century and the discovery was confirmed. The first reports of the Golgi apparatus were identified with various names such as”Golgi-Holmgren apparatus” “Golgi-Holmgren apparatus”, “Golgi-Holmgren ducts” as well as “Golgi-Kopsch apparatus”. The expression “Golgi apparatus” was used in the year 1910 and first appeared in scientific publications in 1913. The term “Golgi complex” was introduced in 1956.

Golgi Apparatus Definition

The Golgi apparatus, also known as the Golgi body, or Golgi complex, or just Golgi is a cell-based organelle that is found in the majority of the cells in eukaryotic species. It is known as the production and transport center of cells. Golgi plays a role in packaging proteins prior to when they are shipped to their destinations. Organelles aid in the processing and packaging of macromolecules such as proteins and lipids produced by cells and thus serve as the ‘postoffice for the cell. Golgi apparatus was first discovered in 1898 by the Italian biologist named Camillo Golgi.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi apparatus is comprised of flat sacs referred to as Cisternae. The sacs are stacked into the shape of a semicircular bent. Each stacked grouping contains an outer membrane that separates its interior from the cell’s cytoplasm. Golgi proteins in the membrane are the reason for their distinctive shape. These interactions create the force that shape the organelle.

It is believed that the Golgi apparatus is extremely polar. Membranes on one side of the structure differ their composition and thickness in comparison to those at the opposite end. The one side (cis face) serves as departmental “receiving” department while the other (trans face) is department that is the “shipping” department. Cis faces are linked to the ER.

Golgi Apparatus Location

It is believed that the Golgi apparatus is located between the endoplasmic retina and cell membrane. Most of the time it appears that the Golgi is thought to extend the endoplasmic retina that is a little smaller and appears smoother. However the Golgi apparatus could be confused with smooth endoplasmic reticulum. While they appear similar but they are not identical. Golgi is an individual organelle with distinct functions.

Structure of Golgi Apparatus

Under the microscope of electrons under the electron microscope, the Golgi apparatus can be seen to consist of of flattened structures that house several vesicles with secretory granules. It is believed that the Golgi apparatus is morphologically like that of animals and plants. But, it is incredibly pluralistic: in some cells it appears to be compact and confined, while in other types it appears scattered in a it appears reticular (net-like). In general however, Golgi apparatus is an intricate array of interconnected tubules, vesicles and cisternae.

Golgi Apparatus diagram
Golgi Apparatus diagram

A. Cisternae

The simplest part that makes up the Golgi apparatus. It is called the cisterna. Cisternae (about 1 millimeters in size) are flat, central with saucer-like, plate-like, or flattened compartments which are contained in stacked bundles or parallel bundles one over one another. Within every stack, cisternae are separated by 20-30 nm, which might contain rod-like components or fibers. Every cisternae stack forms an dictyosome that could contain five to six Golgi cisternae within animal cells, and twenty or more cisternae inside plant cells.

Every cisterna is bordered with a unidirectional membrane (7.5 Nm thick) with an elongated lumen that ranges in width between 500 and 1000 nm. The edges of every cisterna have been gently curled to ensure that the whole dictyosome of the Golgi apparatus has an appearance of a bow. The cisternae that are located at the convex side of the dictyosome have the proximal, forming or cis face and cisternae that are at the concave ends of the dictyosome are the trans-face, distal or maturing.

B. Tubules

A vast array of tubules anastomosing vesicles (30 to 50 nanometers in diameter) are surrounded by the dictyosome and extend out from it. In actuality the peripheral region that surrounds the dictyosome has been the fenestrated (lace-like) in its structure.

C. Vesicles

The vesicles (60 millimeters in diameter) are composed of three types:

  1. Transitional vesicles are tiny membrane-bound vesicles, which are believed to develop as blebs arising from in the transitional ER to move and then converge onto the cis surface of Golgi which is where they join to create new cisternae.
  2. Secretory vesicles vary in size and are membrane-limited vesicles that drain from the margins of cisternae in Golgi. They typically occur between the maturing surface of Golgi and the plasma membrane.
  3. Clathrin-coated vesicles are spherical pro with a diameter of 50 millimeters diameter and having rough surfaces. They are located at the edges of the organelle. They are usually on the ends of single tubules. They differ in morphology from secretory vesicles. These clathrin-coated vessels are thought to be involved in the intracellular movement of membranes as well as secretory substances, i.e., between ER and Golgi and connecting the GELR region as well as between the endosomal and lysosomal compartments.

Functions of Golgi Apparatus

  1. The vesicles of the Golgi are frequently called”the “traffic police” of the cell. They play an essential function in sorting many cells’ proteins as well as membrane components, as well as the direction of these components to their appropriate places of travel.
    • To fulfill this purpose To perform this function, Golgi vesicles have various sets of enzymes within different kinds of vesiclesthat is trans, middle and trans-cisternae. These enzymes modify and interact with secretory proteins flowing across the Golgi lumen, or glycoproteins and membrane proteins that are present transiently in Golgi membranes when they move towards their ultimate locations.
    • The Golgi apparatus acts as the assembly facility in the cell. The raw materials are routed into the Golgi apparatus prior to being taken out of the cell.
  2. In mammals In animals, in animals, the Golgi device is involved with the exocytosis and packaging of the following substances :
    • Zymogen of exocrine pancreatic cells;
    • Mucus (=a glycoprotein) secretion by goblet cells of the intestine ;
    • Lactoprotein (casein) secretion by mammary gland cells (Merocrine secretion) ;
    • The secretion of substances (thyroglobulins) of the hormone thyroxine by thyroid cells
    • Secretion of tropocollagen as well as collagen;
    • Melanin granules are formed and other pigments as well as
    • Formation of vitelline and yolk membranes of growing primary oocytes.
  3. It also contributes to the creation of cell organelles, including the plasma membrane and lysosomes cortical granules from many oocytes.
  4. They also play a role in the movement of lipid molecules throughout the cell.
  5. The Golgi complex is also involved in the creation of proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are a class of molecules that are found inside the extracellular matrix cells of animals.
  6. It’s also a significant source of the production of carbohydrates. They are also involved in glycosaminoglycans synthesis, Golgi is able to attach to these polysaccharides, which later joins with a protein in the endoplasmic Reticulum to create proteoglycans.
  7. The Golgi is involved in the process of sulfation certain molecules.
  8. This process involves phosphorylation molecules through the Golgi requires the entry from ATP through the lumen Golgi.
  9. In the plant, Golgi apparatus is mainly involved in the production of the both cell wall (e.g. the formation and export of glycoproteins monomers, lipids, and pectins for hemicellulose, cellulose the lignin, and so on.)
The Golgi apparatus (salmon pink) in context of the secretory pathway
The Golgi apparatus (salmon pink) in context of the secretory pathway

Golgi Apparatus Assembly

The Golgi apparatus, or Golgi complex is capable of disassembly as well as disassembly and. In the beginning stages of mitosis it is when the Golgi is broken into pieces, which are then broken down into vesicles.

When the cell is progressing in the division procedure the Golgi vesicles are dispersed between the two cells that are forming daughter cells through spindle microtubules. The Golgi apparatus is reassembled in the telophase stage in mitosis.

The mechanisms through which the Golgi apparatus is assembled aren’t yet fully understood.

Golgi Apparatus in Plant Cells

This article is primarily about the functioning in the Golgi apparatus inside the animal cell, cells in plants too possess the Golgi apparatus. Plant cells could have hundreds of these organelles.

In plant cells the Golgi apparatus is also responsible for the task of synthesizing the main polysaccharide molecules that help to form the cell’s wall. In order to do this, plants usually contain of Golgi bodies than a human cell. Additionally, plant cells are not able to contain the lysosomes. These digestive organelles are replaced by the plant by the central vacuole, which functions as a huge lysosome as also an organelle that can store water. Therefore, a lot of vesicles that originate from the Golgi bodies of plants are moved into the vacuole, where they combine their contents with this huge organelle.

Theory of Golgi Apparatus Function

The most popular theory about the way in which the Golgi apparatus develops is the Cisternal maturation model. The theory suggests that the sacs themselves are likely to migrate from the cis towards the trans side of the apparatus as time passes. New sacs form near the endoplasmic-reticulum. The sacs “age” as they move toward the trans-face and the Golgi apparatus, and their product matures to full maturity.

Specific Products

It might seem as if there will never be enough lipids to create the constant circulation of cell membranes that are required to create vesicles of transport between the endoplasmic-reticulum as well as the Golgi apparatus. There are however, constantly cells with membranes that are created to be recycled and reused by endoplasmic-reticulum the Golgi apparatus and lysosomes and other organelles inside the cell and the cell’s membrane that surrounds it. It is believed that the Golgi apparatus and the endoplasmic reticulum are both involved in the production of new cell membranes, as well as recycle cell membranes of vesicles through connecting two membranes as the vesicles absorb.

The Golgi is also responsible for the creation of Lysosomes. These sacs contain digestive materials. They are separated of the Golgi apparatus and are utilized to process substances that have been phagocytized to digest organelles that are no longer functioning. Lysosomes transport raw materials to the endoplasmic Reticulum.

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Writer and Founder of Microbiologynote.com. I am from India and my main purpose is to provide you a strong understanding of Microbiology.

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