Cell coat (Glycocalyx)

  • The surface of some eukaryotic cells are decorated, clothed or masked by certain carbohydrates bound to proteins (glycoprotein) and lipids (glycolipids).
  • This carbohydrate rich filamentous layer is called cell coat or glycocalyx.

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Functions of cell coat

  • It protects the cells from mechanical and chemical damage.
  • It provides a micro environment for the cells.
  • It helps in adhesion of cells,
  • It helps in recognition of cells.


  • The part of the cell which occurs between the plasma membrane and nuclear envelope is called cytoplasm (Kytos-hollow, plasmo-form).
  • It is the site of all biosynthetic and bioenergetic functions.
  • Cytoplasm and nucleus constitutes the protoplasm.
  • Protoplasm is considered as the Physical basis of life’ as it performs all the activities of living beings.
  • The cytoplasm is sometimes described as non nuclear content of protoplasm.

  • Cytoplasm is a colorless, homogenous, translucent, amorphous and colloidal fluid. It contains 75 to 85% water, 10 to 20 % protein, 2 to 3% lipid, 1% carbohydrate and 1% organic components.
  • It also contains dissolved nutrients, numerous salts and acids to dissolve waste products.
  • The peripheral part of cytoplasm is normally non-granular and clear and is called ectoplasm.
  • The inner portion is granular and less viscous and is known as endoplasm.
  • The viscous fluid of cytoplasm in which cell organelles are embedded is said to be the hyaloplasm or kinoplasm.

Functions of cell coat

  • The cytoplasm serves as a molecular soup where all the cellular organelles are suspended and bound together by a lipid bilayer plasma membrane.
  • It is a very good conductor of electricity.
  • It gives support and protection to the cell organelles.
  • It helps movement of the cellular materials around the cell through a process called cytoplasmic streaming.
  • Further, most cellular activities such as many metabolic pathways including glycolysis and cell division occur in cytoplasm.
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