Q:

What is a good analogy for the functioning of the nucleolus?

A:

Quick Answer

The best analogy for the nucleolus in eukaryotic cells is a factory that makes tools that are used to build other resources. The primary function of the nucleolus is to combine and construct ribosomes. The primary function of ribosomes is to build proteins necessary for the cell.

Know More
What is a good analogy for the functioning of the nucleolus?
Credit: Christopher Furlong Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

In this analogy, one should consider that a civilization does not want hammers, saws and wrenches. Instead, human societies require finished goods such as houses and cars. Similarly, cells do not desire ribosomes; they desire proteins, which the ribosomes produce. In the tool factory analogy, a single tool may be used to build many different types of goods. Similarly, the cell’s nucleolus produces ribosomes, which are similar in structure but capable of producing an extremely wide variety of proteins.

Ribosomes are extremely numerous in an organism’s cells, and the nucleolus produces a large number of them to meet the protein needs of the cell. While many of the cell’s ribosomes are situated on the endoplasmic reticulum, many are also free to float through the cell’s cytoplasm. Occasionally, ribosomes clump together with other ribosomes. Some animals have up to 10 million ribosomes in their growing, functioning cells. Each time the cell divides, the nucleolus must produce double this number.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where are ribosomes made?

    A:

    According to Florida State University, ribosomes are primarily constructed in the nucleolus of all living cells. Inside the nucleolus, four strands ribosomal RNA (rRNA) bind together with ribosomal proteins. This results in two structures, called the small ribosome subunit and the large ribosome subunit. Both of these subunits travel through pores in the nucleus and enter the free space of the cell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the physical description of the nucleolus?

    A:

    The nucleolus is found in the nucleus of a cell and appears as a dark spherical region when seen through a microscope. The nucleolus is one of the largest physical structures within the nucleus and can occupy up to a quarter of its total volume.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Which organelles are present in white blood cells?

    A:

    White blood cells, or leukocytes, contain the same organelles as eukaryotic cells, such as the Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, a nucleus and nucleolus, centrioles, rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes. White blood cells are important cells in the immune system, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens in the nucleolus?

    A:

    The nucleolus is chiefly responsible for creating ribosomes, which in turn function as factories for protein synthesis. The nucleolus contains three main organizing regions where transcription and processing of rRNA occurs. It also purportedly aids in other processes, like the packaging of signal recognition particles and the alteration of transfer RNA. The nucleolus is located in the nucleus, and thus only exists in eukaryotic cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore