Cytoplasmic Streaming

Cytoplasmic Streaming




This week we had our first lab in Biology Honors of the semester. We are currently studying cells and cell theory. In this experiment we got to use a microscope to observe cytoplasmic streaming. Cytoplasmic streaming is when the cytoplasm moves nutrients, proteins and organelles throughout the cell. It was really cool because this was the first time I saw a plant cell in real life.

For this lab report, because we don’t have a formal sheet I decided to show you all the pictures we took and explained it here. I don’t think there is much to explain to observing a plant cell go through cytoplasmic streaming.

We looked at an elodea leaf through a microscope.


The image I saw was very beautiful and cool but I know that we could not see cytoplasmic streaming from such a distance. The slightly darker green you see around the cells are the cell walls. The big strip of green is a vein in the leaf that distributes nutrients and proteins.

Recently one of our lab partners, Stephan Silva, dropped out of Biology Honors and our partner Nick Snyder wasn’t in class so there were only three people in our lab group.


For the first two pictures I am not sure what those long rectangles are. They are clearly much bigger than the cells so I my best guess is that they are large micro tubules, veins or an actual organ.

In the third picture you can see a much more close up picture of the cell. You can faintly see the cell wall, but what surprised me was the number of chloroplast. I was unable to spot any other major organelle.


Most scientists when observing the cell release a special dye so you can easily see the organelles but we had an unaltered plant. The little green bubbles are actually chloroplasts. It is very cool to see this in real life so I will include all the pictures.




Since it is very hard to add videos to my blog, I will give you a link.





Sorry the videos are kind of blurry and zoomed out, but it is hard to shoot a video through the microscope.


Now I want to talk about the components of cell theory in this. 

Cell theory


  1. All living organisms are composed of one or more cells.
  2. The cell is the basic unit of structure and organization in organisms.
  3. Cells arise from pre-existing cells.

We can relate point one of cell theory to this experiment because we can see how many cells it can take to make up a simple leaf. Since a cell is the basic unit of life, you need at least one cell for a living organism.

We can relate point two to cell theory because we can see that a cell is needed to have structure in an organism. All the veins and organs in the plant are mostly made up of cells and those cells help give the plant structure.

Point 3 is very difficult to do because we have no direct evidence for this. When a plant cell dies, or when a leaf begins to wither and a new leaf grows. All of the cells the plant grows are from pre-existing cells or from nutrients/ cells collected from the soil.




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