AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between ectoplasm and endoplasm?

Posted January 18, 2023


Basis of differentiation




The more fluid, granular inner layer of the cytoplasm in amoeboid cells

The more viscous, clear outer layer of the cytoplasm in ameboid cells 

Location in the cell

The endoplasm is located in the inner layer of the cytoplasm

The ectoplasm is located in the outer layer of the cytoplasm, adjacent to the plasma membrane 


Endoplasm occupies a large region of the cell 

Ectoplasm occupies a small region in the cell 


Endoplasm is more dense

Ectoplasm is less dense

Cellular processes

Endoplasm is the site for most cellular processes

Not many cellular processes occur in the ectoplasm

Quantity of granules 

Contains more granules than the ectoplasm

Does not contain many granules


Contains the endomembrane system of the cell

Has a high quantity of actin filaments to provide elastic support to the cell membrane


Is less viscous (clear gel) 

Is more viscous, fluid like 

Role in locomotion

The movement of the ambodoid cell is assisted by the endoplasm flowing in different directions

The ectoplasm extends into a pseudopodium to direct the cell’s movement  

Additional resources


Cell Structures and Organelles

iFluor® 488-Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) Conjugate

DiR iodide [1,1-dioctadecyl-3,3,3,3-tetramethylindotricarbocyanine iodide]