MAJOR FUNCTION The major function of flagella is locomotion; a flagellum helps a cell to move within an organism.
MINOR FUNCTIONS - Sensory function - Detect moisture/wetness
STRUCTURE A eukaryotic flagellum is made up of three main parts. * The basal body * The axoneme * Microtubules
BASAL BODY The basal body is the base of the flagellum's structure.
MICROTUBULES The microtubules contain dynein arms, which are composed of protein and use energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate. These arms allow for the flexibility of the flagellum's structure and allow it to move.
AXONEME The axoneme is the main part of the flagellum. It is the tail-like structure and central body of the flagellum.
LOCATION INSIDE CELL Flagella are located on the out side of a cell. This allows its motion to propel the cell forward and around in an organism.
Sperm are the only cells in the human body that have flagella. Them sperm use flagella to move themselves toward the egg during sexual reproduction.
PROKARYOTIC FLAGELLUM Prokaryotic flagellum have a more simple structure than their eukaryotic counterparts
Flagella can be known in relation to the cytoskeleton. One of the functions of the cytoskeleton is being responsible for the movement of a cell through an organism or its environment. The cytoskeleton does this through the flagella and other organelles responsible for movement.
WITHOUT THE FLAGELLUM Without flagella, cells whom relied on flagella for movement would no longer be motile and would have to rely on their environment to help the move around.
PROTEIN Flagella are composed of protein. Eukaryotic flagella are composed of Tubulin protein, while prokaryotic flagella is composed of a protein called Flagellin. Flagella also use ATP energy to propel themselves forward.
ANALOGY A flagellum is like the organization of workers in an office building. The flagelllum axoneme as a whole is represented by the body of workers. The office building represents the cell, and the office workers represent the microtubules. Similar to the hard-working workers in an office building which are essential for the progression of a company, flagella has microtubules and dynein arms made up of protein which are very important for helping the cell to move. When the microtubules and dynein arms are working in harmony, the flagellum is able to move throughout its environment. Similarly, when all the workers in an office building are doing their jobs and working hard, the company moves forward towards its goals and meets its deadlines. In relation, the cytoskeleton which is responsible for the movement of a cell can be compared to Human Resources which is responsible for making sure the workers do their job and help the company. However, flagella and an organization of workers are different in quite a few ways. For example, there are many different types of jobs that office workers in one company may do however, in a flagellum each microtubule and dynein arm are responsible for the same job. Also, the flagellum and the workers' primary function is movement, the flagellum's function is physical movement, while the workers' jobs are economically oriented. Lastly, flagella are not very common in eukaryotic cells, but organizations of office workers are very common in human society.