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Difference Between Protoplasm and Cytoplasm

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Last updated date: 19th Apr 2024
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Introduction

In 1861, the German physiologist Max Schultze coined the term "protoplasm" to describe the living substance found within cells. He observed that this substance was essential for cellular life and function. Meanwhile, the term "cytoplasm" was introduced by Rudolf von Kölliker in 1863 to refer to the jelly-like substance that fills the cell and surrounds the nucleus. These terms have since become fundamental in the study of cell biology.In this article today we will explore the difference between Protoplasm and Cytoplasm. Now let’s explain Protoplasm and Cytoplasm.

What is Protoplasm and Cytoplasm

Protoplasm: Protoplasm refers to the living content of a cell, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and other organelles. It is considered the essential living substance of a cell and is involved in various cellular processes. Protoplasm encompasses all the components necessary for cellular function, such as metabolism, growth, and reproduction.


Cytoplasm: Cytoplasm is the jelly-like substance found inside a cell, excluding the nucleus. It consists of a semi-fluid medium called the cytosol, as well as various organelles, such as mitochondria, ribosomes, and the endoplasmic reticulum. Cytoplasm serves as a medium for various cellular reactions and supports the organelles within the cell.


Interesting facts About Protoplasm and Cytoplasm

  • Protoplasm is often described as the "physical basis of life" because it contains all the necessary components for cellular functions. It is the substance that enables cells to carry out their essential processes.

  • The term "cytoplasm" comes from the Greek words "kytos" meaning "container" and "plasma" meaning "form" or "substance." This reflects its role as the substance that fills the cell and provides its structure.

  • Both protoplasm and cytoplasm are composed of water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, ions, and other organic and inorganic molecules. These components are essential for the functioning and survival of cells.


Difference Between Protoplasm and Cytoplasm

S.No

Protoplasm

Cytoplasm


Includes cytoplasm, nucleus, and organelles.

Refers specifically to the jelly-like substance within the cell, excluding the nucleus.


Essential living substance of a cell.

Jelly-like material that fills the cell.


Responsible for vital cellular functions.

Serves as a medium for various cellular reactions.


Composed of water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and ions.

Contains the cytosol and organelles like mitochondria, ribosomes, and endoplasmic reticulum.


Characteristics of Protoplasm and Cytoplasm 

Protoplasm:

  • Protoplasm is the entire living content of a cell, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and organelles. It encompasses all the essential components required for cellular life.

  • It is responsible for vital cellular functions such as metabolism, growth, and reproduction.

  • Protoplasm is composed of water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, ions, and other organic and inorganic molecules.

  • It is considered the physical basis of life as it contains the necessary elements for cell function.

  • Protoplasm is highly dynamic and constantly involved in various cellular processes.


Cytoplasm:

  • Cytoplasm refers specifically to the jelly-like substance within the cell, excluding the nucleus.

  • It contains the cytosol, a semi-fluid medium that fills the cell and provides a medium for various cellular reactions.

  • Cytoplasm supports and houses organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and others.

  • It plays a crucial role in cell movement, transport of substances within the cell, and providing structural support.

  • Cytoplasm is involved in cellular processes such as protein synthesis, energy production, and the transportation of molecules within the cell.


Summary

To summarise, protoplasm encompasses the entire living content of a cell, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and organelles, while cytoplasm specifically refers to the jelly-like substance within the cell, excluding the nucleus. Protoplasm is considered the essential living substance of a cell, responsible for vital cellular functions, while cytoplasm serves as a medium for cellular reactions and supports the organelles. Both protoplasm and cytoplasm are composed of various molecules and are integral to the functioning and survival of cells. So here we were able to understand what exactly is Protoplasm and Cytoplasm difference.

FAQs on Difference Between Protoplasm and Cytoplasm

1. Is the Cytoplasm the Same in All Cells?

No, the composition and organisation of cytoplasm can vary between different types of cells. For example, muscle cells may have more specialised structures within their cytoplasm compared to a simple plant cell. The specific components and arrangement of organelles within the cytoplasm can differ depending on the cell type and its function.

2. Can a Cell Survive Without Cytoplasm?

No, cytoplasm is essential for the survival of a cell. It provides a medium for various cellular reactions and houses important organelles. Without cytoplasm, the cell would lack the necessary components for metabolism, protein synthesis, energy production, and other vital processes.

3. Is Protoplasm the Same as Cytoplasm?

No, protoplasm is a broader term that encompasses the entire living content of a cell, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and organelles. Cytoplasm, on the other hand, refers specifically to the jelly-like substance within the cell, excluding the nucleus. Protoplasm is considered the essential living substance of a cell, while cytoplasm is a component of protoplasm.

4. Are there Any Other Components Present in Cytoplasm and not in Protoplasm?

Cytoplasm contains various organelles like mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and others, which are not explicitly included in the term "protoplasm." Protoplasm refers to the collective living matter of the cell, including the cytoplasm and all its organelles. So, while cytoplasm is part of protoplasm, the term "protoplasm" is more inclusive.