The Golgi apparatus is a cellular organelle that is found in most eukaryotic cells, including human cells. It was first identified in 1897 by Camillo Golgi and was named after the physicist the following year.
The Golgi apparatus is an essential part of the cellular endomembrane system. It packages proteins inside of the cell and prepares them for secretion out of the cell. The organelle is composed of a series of cylindrical membranes. It has a cell membrane that is two layers thick and absorbs proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum. The proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum are packaged together to make them more complex. Once the organelle has processed the proteins, it can store them in vesicles. The vesicles can be dormant for a long time, or they can be secreted from the cell. When secreted, the vesicles pinch off from the Golgi apparatus and are secreted, or exocytosed, from the cell. The Golgi apparatus also helps build lysosomes. Lysosomes are cellular organelles that participate in cellular digestion. Molecules that shouldn’t be inside of the cell or cell parts can be sent to the lysosomes to be broken down and recycled. In plants, Golgi apparatuses can create both proteins and complex sugars. The sugars are then utilized by the plant for energy and nourishment.