Which type of cell would probably provide the best opportunity to study lysosomes?   a.  muscle cell            b.  nerve cell   c.  phagocytic white blood cell     d.  leaf cell of a plant   or e.  bacterial cell

Expert Answers

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Lysosomes are intracellular organelles that break down or digest waste material, dead cells and viruses and bacteria.  They engulf these materials and break them down using enzymes such as proteases, lipases and amylases.

Here are comments on the multiple-choice answers to your question:

a.  Muscle cell (incorrect answer):  It contains a protein called myosin, which promotes muscular contraction. Muscle cells do not engage in phagocytic or lysosomal activity.

b.  Nerve cell (incorrect answer): It transmits electrical and neurochemical signals and is not involved in lysosomal activity.

c.  Phagocytic WBC (correct answer):  Its principal activity is the engulfing (phagocytosis) of foreign or dead cellular or microbiological material, and it has an active lysosomal apparatus.

d.  Leaf or plant (incorrect answer):  Plant cells contain vacuoles instead of lysosomes.

e.  Bacterial cell (incorrect answer): It contains few if any lysosomes.

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