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Medicine LibreTexts

3.07: The Cell As A Factory

To make the function of the parts of the cell easier to understand and remember you can compare them to a factory. For example:

  • The nucleus (1) is the managing director of the factory consulting the blueprint (the chromosomes) (2);
  • The mitochondria (3) supply the power
  • The ribosomes (4) make the products;
  • The chloroplasts of plant cells (5) supply the fuel (food)
  • The Golgi apparatus (6) packages the products ready for dispatch;
  • The ER (7) modifies, stores and transports the products around the factory;
  • The plasma membrane is the factory wall and the gates (8);
  • The lysosomes dispose of the waste and worn-out machinery.
  • The cell compared to a factory


  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)