How to Identify Cell Structures

By Lysis

If you plan to study biology, knowing cell structures in a light or electron microscope is a part of the curriculum. Some microbes such as viruses are only visible under more advanced, expensive electron microscopes. These laboratory objects take 3-D images of detailed structures within cells. Light microscopes are cheaper and more common. The researcher can view images of microbes such as bacteria, plant or animal cells, but they are less detailed and in two dimensions.

Identify cell nucleus in animal cells. Animal cells have a nucleus that contains the chromosomes for DNA. Chromosomes are only visible during cell division. The nucleus is a large, circular structure surrounded by a tiny membrane.

Identify the nucleolus. The nucleolus is contained within the nucleus, and it is responsible for creating rDNA, the ribosomal genome that translates mRNA to proteins.

Identify the mitochondria. Mitochondria structures are responsible for creating the ATP (cellular energy) for metabolism and chemical reactions within cells. They are identifiable by the cristae formations that zigzag in the mitochondria cell.

Identify the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi complex is the packaging center for the cell. It adds the final compounds on biomolecules such as proteins and fatty acids and transports them to other parts of the cell or into the blood stream.

Identify chromosomes. Chromosomes hold the genome of the cell. They are only visible during cell division. They are tiny, worm-like structures contained within the nucleus in animal cells.

About the Author

Lysis is the pen name for a former computer programmer and network administrator who now studies biochemistry and biology while ghostwriting for clients. She currently studies health, medicine and autoimmune disorders. Lysis is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in genetic engineering.