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Today we will discuss about the The Different types of Ergastic Materials of a Cell

Ergastic materials:  These are the non-living materials found in cells, which includes Reserve materials, Secretory products and Excretory products.

So all nonliving inclusions of the cell are called Ergastic materials

These ergastic materials are found in cytoplasm and vacuole

These are of three types

  1.   Reserve food matters

Plants reserve carbohydrates in the form of starch and glycogen in fungi only

Plants reserve protein in the form of aleurone grains

Plants reserve fat in the form of elaioplast


Animals reserve carbohydrate in the form of glycogen

Animals reserve fat in the adipocyte cells or fat cells


  1. Secretary substances

    Like Nector, Colouring materials (pigments) Hormones, Enzymes, etc are secreted by plant cells and animals cells


  1. Excretory products

    These are formed within the plant cells and animal cells due to metabolism. These metabolic byproducts are the excretory products.  In plants these excretory products can be nitrogenous or non-nitrogenous.  These excretory products have got considerable economic importances.


Non-nitrogenous form:

  1. Raphides: These are needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate that normally lie in bundles.  When such cell are consumed the crystals prick in the buccal cavity and in the pharynx causing irritation and itching sensation.  Eg. Arum, water hyacinth.
  2. Cystolith: These are crystals of calcium carbonate that remain in the form of bunch of grapes inside the cells.  eg. Banyan, rubber plant.
  3. Tannins: These are excretory products with disagreeable taste.  Eg.  Myrabalans (B. trifala).  Importance:
  4. It is used in tannery for tanning hide into leather.
  5. It is used in ink industry.
  6. Latex: It is liquid excretory product that flows through laticiferous ducts.  It is mainly milky white as in rubber plant, banyan, jackfruit, Calotropis (B, akanda).   Importance:
    The latex of the Indian Rubber plant is the raw materials for the manufacture of commercial rubber.
  7. Resin: It is a liquid excretory product that becomes solidified when comes in contact with air.  Eg. Pine.  Importance:
  8.  It is used in manufacturing glue and for the preparation of different dyes. Shellac (a resin) used for sealing purpose.
  9. Gum: Liquid excretory products that become crystallized coming in contact with air.  It is soluble in water.  Eg. Acacia (babla).  Importance:

it is used for making commercial adhesive for pasting of various  materials like paper, cloth etc.  It is also used as a laxative in medicine.

Nitrogenous form:

The nitrogenous products are given common name alkaloids.  Alkaloids are generally provided with disagreeable taste and hence their deposition inside the plant body helps the plant to protect against herbivores.  Many alkaloids have a high amount of medicinal value and hence are used in pharmaceutical industries.  The names of some alkaloids and their medicinal uses are given below.


Alkaloids                             Source                                                           Use

1. Quinine                     Cinchona (bark)                  Medicine for the treatment of malaria

2. Morphine                   Opium, poppy                    Used as a sedative

3. Caffeine                           Coffee, tea                      Used as a stimulant

4. Reserpine                    Sarpagandha                   Medicine for the treatment of hypertension

5. Rauwolfine                Rauwolfia (root)              Medicine for the treatment of hypertension

6. Strychnine                 Nux-vomica                      Used as a depoisoning substance

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Hi viewers My name is Partha Pratim Goswami, (PpG) I am a teacher by profession. I have been teaching biology, chemistry and physics, sometimes mathematics also for last sixteen years. I would like to share my entire experience with all the viewers across the world through YouTube, which I think is an amazing platform to share all my experiences.

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