The Golgi apparatus is an organelle (a specialized unit within a cell) found in most complex cells. It was discovered by Italian physician Camillo Golgi in 1898, and is how it gets its name. Compared with most organelles it is relatively large, which means it was once of the first to be discovered and studied in detail. Let’s take a look at what function the Golgi apparatus performs in the cell.
What is the function of the Golgi apparatus?
The easiest way to understand the main function of the Golgi apparatus is to think of a post office. It packages and labels items, which it then sends to other parts of the cell or to be secreted from the cell. The main function of the Golgi apparatus is to modify, sort and package molecules, mostly proteins, that are delivered from the endoplasmic reticulum. However, it also synthesizes and stores proteins, and is also involved in transporting lipids around the cell. Another function of the Golgi apparatus is to create the lysosomes and it is also the site of carbohydrate synthesis.
The following video provides a great explanation of the above process.
Did you know?
The other common names for the Golgi apparatus are Golgi body, Golgi complex or the internal reticular apparatus.
The discovery of this organelle caused some controversy. Some experts believed that it was just an optical illusion due to the technique used by Camillo Golgi. The modern microscopes invented in the next century confirmed the discovery.