A microbody is a cell organelle present in both plant and animal cells. Glyoxysomes, peroxisomes are included in the microbodies family. In Vertebrates, microbodies are prevalent in the kidney and liver cells.
Microbodies are present in the cytoplasm of a cell so they are known as cytosomes. They are very small in size ~0.2-1.5 μm and can be seen under the electron microscope.
Some of the common characteristics of microbodies are:
- They are vesicular and mostly spherical in shape
- They are enclosed in a single membrane of a phospholipid bilayer
- The intracellular matrix contains proteins and enzymes
- They do not contain separate DNA
Different types of microbodies perform various specific functions.
- Microbodies take part in various biochemical reactions in the cell
- The enzymes present in microbodies facilitate various essential reactions, e.g. breakdown of fats, amino acids, alcohol, etc.
- They are involved in the photorespiration in plants
- Detoxification of peroxides occurs in microbodies
Peroxisomes are a membrane-bound organelle present in the eukaryotic cells. They take part in various oxidative processes. They take part in lipid metabolism and catabolism of D-amino acids, polyamines and bile acids. The reactive oxygen species such as peroxides produced in the process is converted to water by various enzymes like peroxidase and catalase.
In plants, photorespiration occurs in peroxisomes.
Glyoxysomes are specialized peroxisomes. Their main function is to convert fatty acid to carbohydrate. They are present in plants and fungi. They are prevalent in the germinating seeds in their fat-storing tissues.
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