What Is the Main Function of the Cytoplasm?

The primary function of cytoplasm is to hold the cell’s various organelles in place. Composed of a gelatinous liquid known as cytosol, the cytoplasm fills the interior of the cell. According to Hartnell College, cytoplasm is a common feature of all cells regardless of the type of organism the cells come from. The cytoplasm is contained within the confines of the plasma membrane or cell wall.

The cytoplasm also holds and contains a structure called the cytoskeleton, according to About.com. This cytoskeleton provides structure to the cell and helps maintain the cell’s shape. The cell’s cytoplasm is usually clear even though it contains numerous dissolved salts and other substances.

According to the Todar's Online Textbook of Bacteriology, bacterial cytoplasm must hold the genetic material as it is not enclosed in the nucleus. The cytoplasm also contains proteins that control the replication of DNA in bacterial cells. Eukaryotic cells, such as those of plants, fungi and animals, replicate their DNA inside the cell nucleus.

According to Wikipedia, comparatively little research has been conducted regarding the pattern of inheritance that controls the construction of cytoplasm. The maternal gamete, or egg cell, contributes the cytoplasm, mitochondria and most of the other organelles to the cell.