The Golgi complex

In 1898, camillo Golgi, an Italian cytologist, discovered that when he treated the cells with silver salts, certain peculiar bodies showed up in the cytoplasm. The “reticular apparatuses” he described had never been noticed before, and they didn’t show up with other stains. But when other workers used Golgi’s silver treatment, they found the bodies in a variety of secretary cells. Because the silver treatment was considered drastic, and because the peculiar bodies were never seen in living cells, cytologists argued for the next 50 years over whether Golgi bodies were really cell structures or just artifacts caused by silver treatment.

             Again the electron microscope came to the rescue, Golgi bodies were real. It was found that they had a characteristic and identifiable structure no matter what kind of cell they were found in. in every case, the Golgi apparatus appeared as a group of flattened, baglike membranous sacs lying close to the nucleus and roughly parallel to each other. These were given a name, saccules and the debate shifted to focus on their role.

            Golgi complex is derived from the endoplasmic reticulum and that it serves as some sort of packaging center for the cell. Such things as enzymes, proteins and carbohydrates are collected in these bodies and packaged into closed membranous sacs, called vesicles. Thus they are effectively isolated from the rest the cell.

            In plants, Golgi bodies are thought to be directly involved in cell division and growth. They seem to release complex carbohydrates into the developing cell membrane, which then deposits them into the cell wall. The apparatus may also carry on some enzymatic activity.

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