AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between organs and organelles?

Posted October 19, 2022

Basis of DifferentiationOrgansOrganelles
DefinitionOrgan refers to a collection of tissues that perfom similar functions in the bodyOrganelles are microscopic, specialized structures found inside cells, which carry out sepcific life processes
ExamplesHeart, brain, lungs, stomach, kidneys, and intestines Nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and chloroplasts
CompositionOrgans are composed of tissuesOrganelles are composed of a single cell
Larger unitThey are part of the organ system in the body. They are a part of cells
LocationThey are located in the organ systemThey are located in the cytoplasm of the cell.
Found in unicellular/multicellular organismsOrgans are only found in multicellular organismsOrganelles are found in unicellular and multicellular organisms
SizeOrgans are macroscopic and easily visible to the naked eye. Organelles are microscopic and only visible when viewed under an electronic microscope
FunctionOrgans perform specific vital life processes in the bodyOrganelles perform specific processes in the cell
Level of operationOrgans operate at the organism level and perform a number of life processesOrganelles operate at the cell level and perform a number of cellular processes
Additional resources

Acute Pancreatitis: A Multifaceted Set of Organelle and Cellular Interactions

Cell Structures and Organelles

MitoROS™ 580 *Optimized for Detecting Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in Mitochondria*