5 Facts On Ectoplasm And Endoplasm: Comparative Analysis

The inner, dense region of a cell’s cytoplasm is referred to as endoplasm while the top layer of the cytoplasm, is called ectoplasm. Let us see in details.

In the cytoplasm of some animals, there are two compartments called endoplasm and ectoplasm. In addition, the cell’s endomembrane system is housed in the endoplasm, whereas the ectoplasm has a larger concentration of actin filaments that support the cell membrane with elastic support.

Let us discuss the relation between ectoplasm and endoplasm, differences between ectoplasm and endoplasm, their structure functions and many more related questions in this article.

Relation between ectoplasm and endoplasm?

The granulated portion of the cytoplasm is called endoplasm, whereas the agranulated portion is called ectoplasm. Let us understand the relation between these two.

Ectoplasm and endoplasm both terms are refers to the cytoplasm of amoeba. Ectoplasm is the exterior, non-granulated, clear component of the cytoplasm, while endoplasm is the interior, granule-rich, dense section.

Ectoplasm is the thin, translucent, slightly stiff, and contractile component of the cytoplasm in some organisms, such the amoeba. The varied endoplasmic and ectoplasmic compositions contribute to the development of the pseudopods.

Difference between ectoplasm and endoplasm?

Ectoplasm and endoplasm are two separate regions of a protozoan’s cytoplasm. Let us know the difference between the two.

Major differences between the ectoplasm and endoplasm are given below:

DefinitionThe term “ectoplasm” describes the outside, non-granulated layer of a cell’s cytoplasm.The term “endoplasm” describes the inner, granular layer of a cell’s cytoplasm.
Viscosityectoplasm is more viscous.Endoplasm is less viscous
NatureEctoplasm is a transparent gel.It is more liquid or watery in endoplasm.
Clearness Ectoplasm is a clear area.Endoplasm is a murky area.
Presence of granules Ectoplasm lacks granules.The bulk of the cell’s granules and tiny organelles are found in the endoplasm.
DensityEctoplasm has a lower density.Endoplasm id more debser.
AreaA minor portion of the cell is taken up by cytoplasm.The preponderance of a cell is made up of endoplasm.
SignificanceActin filaments are more prevalent in ectoplasm, which supports the cell membrane with elasticity.The cell’s endomembrane system is housed in the endoplasm.
Role in LocomotionEctoplasm extends into a pseudopodium to direct the cell’s movement.The movement of the amoeboid cell is aided by the endoplasm flowing in various directions.
Cellular ProcessesNot many cellular functions take place in the ectoplasm.The majority of cellular functions take place in the endoplasm.
Difference between ectoplasm and endoplasm

Diagram and structure of ectoplasm:

The term “ectoplasm” describes a cell’s cytoplasm’s outer layer. There are no granules there. Let us understand in detail about its structure and diagram.

The structure of ectoplasm is consist of the following:

  • Ectoplasm region of cytoplasm is transparent and watery. It is very obvious within the amoeba cell.
  • It is a jelly-like, semisolid material.
  • It is the agranular part of the cytoplasm.
  • It is a clear layer, and both transports and protects anything inside the cell.
  • The ectoplasm often contains vast numbers of actin filaments, which serve as an elastic support for the cell membrane.
  • Microfilaments of myosin and actin are also present.
Diagram of ectoplasm from Flickr

Diagram and structure of endoplasm

The matrix in which several organelles, including the nucleus, are suspended is called endoplasm. Let us discuss in details its structure.

The endoplasm can be divided into two sections: the inner, fluid plasmasol, and the stiff region underlying the ectoplasm.The following structures are contained within the plasmasol-

Contractile Vacuole:

Contractile Vacuoles are single, sizable, transparent vacuole with a cavity filled with watery fluid. It grows steadily, rises to the surface, then abruptly explodes and release its contents into the surrounding water before dissipating. Later, a fresh contractile vacuole forms.

Food Vacuole:

At various stages of digestion, one or more water and food-particle-containing, spherical, non-contractile food vacuoles are seen.

Water Vacuole or Globule:

Many of these water vacuoles appear as translucent, colourless, stationary drops.

Stored Food:

There are several granules of reserve dietary stuff, primarily made up of lipids and carbohydrates.


Present as rod-like objects or as roughly oval objects with tubular cristae.


There are crystals of various sizes and forms, which are likely metabolic byproducts.

Diagram of endoplasm from Wikipedia

Functions of ectoplasm:

Ectoplasm is thin, translucent, a little bit hard, contractile component of the cytoplasm of some organisms, including amoebas. Let us know more functions of ectoplasm.

Ectoplasm performes several essential functions mentioned below –

  • The ectoplasm, is made up of a lot of actin filaments and is known for giving the cell membrane an elastic support.
  • It controls the direction in which the cell moves.
  • Its proportionate the water inside the cell.
  • It also propels the organism’s entire body.
  • Ectoplasm extends into a pseudopodium to direct the cell’s movement.


The innermost portion of an amoeba’s cytoplasm is known as endoplasm. It has more granules and is denser. Additionally, it controls the amount of water within the cell, which affects where the pseudopodia are located. Ectoplasm, on either hand, is the amoeba’s outer layer of cytoplasm. Additionally, this area is less dense and clear. Additionally, there are less granules in it. Additionally, by producing the pseudopodium, the ectoplasm directs the direction in which the cell moves.

Sadiqua Noor

Hi...I am Sadiqua Noor, done Postgraduation in Biotechnology, my area of interest is molecular biology and genetics, apart from these I have a keen interest in scientific article writing in simpler words so that the people from non-science backgrounds can also understand the beauty and gifts of science. I have 5 years of experience as a tutor. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sadiqua-noor-705593225

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