Difference Between Organs and Organelles

What are Organs? 

A group of tissues makes up an organ. The organs are specialized to perform a specific function in the human body system. A human body consists of 78 internal organs performing a specific function. The main organs in the body are the Heart, Kidney, Liver, Brain, and Lung. The heart is the key component of the circulatory system and performs the function of pumping blood to various parts of the body. The kidney performs excretory functions by removing metabolic wastes and fluids from the body. The liver is the primary organ for metabolism where various metabolic processes occur leading to the production of useful metabolites. The brain keeps the organs systems coordinated. The lungs supply oxygen to the tissues and eliminate carbon dioxide from the body system. 

(Image to be added soon)


What is an Organelle? 

An organelle is a component of the cell. In single-celled organisms like the bacteria, the organelle is the functional analog. 

In eukaryotic cells, the organelles are found in the cytoplasm. The different cell organelles present in the eukaryotic cell are the cell wall, nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, cell membrane, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, flagella, vacuoles, centrioles, cilia, lysosomes, and, peroxisomes. 

The prokaryotic cells lack membrane-bound organelles. The prokaryotic cell organelles include nucleoid, cell membrane, cytoplasm, cell wall, ribosomes, and flagella. 

(Image to be added soon)

Each organelle has a specific function to do. 

  • Cell wall and cell membrane – protection. 

  • Mitochondria – energy production. 

  • Nucleus – protein synthesis and stores hereditary information. 

  • Flagella and cilia – Movement. 

  • Ribosomes – protein synthesis and transport. 


Differentiate Between Organs and Organelles: 

To Differentiate between organ and organelle, there are certain parameters that you must understand. 

  1. The organs and the organelles are entirely different but the organ cannot perform any function in the absence of the cell organelles. 

  2. The organelles are the simplest form and form the basic level of organization. The organs having the same origin and function form an organ system giving rise to higher levels of the organization. 

  3. There are various parameters to consider to differentiate between an organ and an organelle. The table below depicts the differences between them both concerning various parameters. 

Organ vs Organelle

Parameter

Organ

Organelle

Definition

It is defined as a group of tissues having the same origin and same function. 

It is defined as the component of the cell performing a specialized and unique function. 

Location

Located in the organ system.

Located in the cytoplasm (plasma of the cell). 

Operation

Operates at the organism level and performs various life processes. 

Operates at the cell level and performs various cellular processes. 

Size

Macroscopic and are visible to the human eye. 

Microscopic and are visible when viewed under an electronic microscope only. 

Presence

Found in all multicellular organisms. 

Found in both multicellular and unicellular organisms. 

Degree of organization

Forms the highest level of organization i.e. the organ system. 

Forms the lowest and simplest degree of organization i.e. the cells. 

Examples

Internal organs like Heart, Liver, Kidney, Lungs, Brain, skin, stomach, etc. 

The cell membrane, nucleus, mitochondria, lysosomes, centrioles, vacuoles, chloroplast, flagella, cilia, etc. 


Let’s differentiate the organ and organelle based on their functions happening in the entire body system. 

Function

Organ

Organelle

Respiration

At the organ level, lungs along with bronchioles and bronchi perform the respiratory function. 

Mitochondria are considered as the primary site for respiration at the basic level. 

Energy Production

The liver is the key site for all metabolic processes. Various components undergo metabolism and produce energy. 

Mitochondria is the key site for energy production. It produces energy in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This is the reason, it’s also called “Powerhouse of the cell”.

Protection

Skin, the largest organ in the body system protects the internal organs from the external environment. 

The cell wall and the cell membrane protect the internal cell organelles. 

Movement

The blood is the primary organ that’s useful in transporting various substances to internal organs and tissues. It carries oxygen to tissues, brings carbon dioxide from the lungs, and carries waste products to the kidneys for excretion. 

Flagella and cilia are the cell's organelles that aid is transportation. Cilia are present in the nose, lung lining, intestine lining, vas deferens lining, and fallopian tube lining. Human male gametes possess a flagellum that aids in movement and locomotion. 

Phagocytosis

The cells of the immune system like macrophages, dendritic cells, and neutrophils perform phagocytosis. 

The lysosome is the only organelle of all the cell organelles known to perform phagocytosis. 


Fun Facts

  • Some of the human body organs in our body are hollow and are called Hollow organs. 

Example: stomach and heart. 

  • In the body system, the large intestine is smaller than the small intestine. They are named conversely considering size as a parameter. 

  • A few cell organelles are large enough to resolve and are visible under the light microscope. 

Example: Nucleus. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which among organ and organelle is bigger?

An Organelle is the structure present within the cell and is tinier than the cells. They are microscopes and are visible when viewed under an electron microscope. 

Example: Nucleus, chloroplast, lysosomes, cell membranes, etc. 


Organs are formed when a group of tissues having the same origin and function join together. Tissues are a group of similar kinds of cells performing the same function. Organs are larger than tissues and visible to the naked eye. 

Example: human organs like stomach, heart, brain, lungs, liver, eyes, muscles, etc. 

From here we can conclude that organs are larger and bigger than the organelles. 

2. Why are mitochondria called Powerhouse of the cell?

Mitochondria is one of the cell organelles present within the cells of the body system. Mitochondria is a site where cellular respiration occurs. Respiration leads to the generation of energy. Mitochondria leads to energy generation in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). The energy generated is supplied to various internal organs like muscles and tissue so that they can perform their functions. The energy the body uses to perform various functions is generated from the mitochondria. Mitochondria supplies enough energy to support all vital functions the body performs. Even the smallest cell needs energy which is supplied by the mitochondria. For this reason, it's called the Powerhouse of the cell.