Specialized Cellular Structures

Specialized Cellular Structures

Directions: In this module, we spent some time considering specialized cellular structures within an animal cell. We examined the individual functions of these cellular structures and how they work together to promote the overall functioning of the cell on the whole.

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One point to consider is that animals are multi-cellular organisms made of many cells with different functions. During cell production and development, depending on the function of that particular cell type, there may be more or less of a given cellular structure.


One example of a specialized cell type within your body is the white blood cell. You have multiple types of white blood cells and depending on how they function, they have different cellular structures to facilitate that function. One type of white blood cell undergoes phagocytosis, or “cell-eating”, where this cell can ingest and destroy an invading prokaryote such as a bacterial cell. In other words, the plasma membrane of this white blood cell will form an invagination of the plasma membrane around the bacterial cell and bring it into the cell. Once inside, this type of white blood cell contains many lysosomes that will destroy the invader. After the invader has been broken down, the breakdown products will be released outside of the cell through exocytosis, thus contributing to the overall health of the organism.


For this discussion board activity, find and describe one specialized cell type (unique to ones discussed by your classmates in this activity). In your response, please identify the cell type, the general function of that cell, and any known modifications that have been made (such as that cell containing more or less of a given structure) in order for that cell type to perform its function optimally. Give your thread a title with the cell that you will discuss.



Grading: This discussion is worth 40 points toward your final grade and will be graded using the Discussion Rubric. Please use it as a guide toward successful completion of this discussion.


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