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Definition Of Plant Cell and Its Functions

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Plant Cell

The plant cell is the fundamental unit of plant kingdom. The plant cell is a eukaryotic cell that is it has a true membrane bound nucleus. The discovery of plant cell was in the year 1665 by Robert Hooke.

It has distinctive features which makes them different from animal cell that is plant cell have cell wall, plastids and central vacuole which lacks in animal cell. The plant cell consists of other organelles which can be defined as cellular structures. These organelles present within the plant cell carryout different functions of the cell.  The different parts of plant cell are:

Plant cell structure

Cell Wall: The cell wall makes the plant cell different from the animal cell. The cell wall is basically the outer and tough covering of the plant cell. The cell wall gives strength to the cell and provides high turgidity. The cell wall is mainly composed of cellulose and other molecules like pectin, lignin and hemicellulose. The composition of the cell wall differs from organism to organism for example: the bacterial cell wall contains peptidoglycan and the fungal cell wall contains chitin. The cell wall is divided into primary and secondary cell wall, the primary cell wall is generally flexible in nature and is formed on the outside of growing plant cell. The secondary cell wall is quiet thick and tough which is formed inside the primary cell wall of plants when the cell gets matured.

Cell membrane: The cell membrane also called as plasma membrane which contains bilipid membranous layer and is a composition of carbohydrates and proteins. The cell membrane acts a barrier between the external environment and internal environment of the cell. The key function of the cell membrane is it is semi-permeable that is it allows certain substance inside the cell whereas the cell wall is fully permeable; it allows all the substances inside the cell.
Cytoplasm: Cytoplasm is also known as cytosol and a semi-liquid substance or jelly like substance. The cytoplasm is basically composed of water and is found between the nucleus and cell membrane. It is constantly streaming inside the cell and is covers most part of the cell. The cytoplasm consists of different organelles and some substances such as salt dissolved in it.

Nucleus: Nucleus is the largest organelle embedded within the cell. The nucleus is round in structure and is covered with double membrane which is called as nuclear envelope or membrane. The nucleus contains DNA that is deoxyribonucleic acid which contains the genetic information on specialized strands called chromosomes. The key function of nucleus is cell reproduction and metabolism and is referred to “control center” of the cell.

Mitochondria: Mitochondria are considered as the power house of the cell. Mitochondria are the tube-like round structured organelles. It is surrounded by double membrane where the inner-membrane is in a folded structure. The main function of mitochondria is to release food energy from the food molecules which needs to be used by the cell.
Endoplasmic Reticulum: It is the network of membranous canal which is filled with fluid. They act as a carrier for important materials transported throughout the cell. It is also known as the transport system of the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum is of types: rough ER and smooth ER

Ribosomes: These are the small particles usually found individually in the lining of rough ER and spread throughout the cytoplasm. Ribosomes are responsible for the production of proteins.


Plastids: Plastids are only present in plant cell. These are the double membranous organelles responsible for storing food. Plastids are of two types’ leucoplast and chromoplasts. Leuoplast are basically colorless organelles and chromoplast which contain colored pigments. The chromoplast contains chloroplast which is responsible for the process of photosynthesis.

Central Vacuole: The central vacuole is the large vacuole present in plant cell. The vacuole is filled with fluid which is enclosed by a membrane. The vacuole acts as a storage compartment which stores water, inorganic and organic substances and waste products.



Figure1: Plant Cell


The difference between plant cell and animal cell

Plant cell Animal Cell
Plant cell have cell wall. Animal cell do not have cell wall.
The plant cell ranges from 10 to 100 micrometers The animal cells are usually smaller in size and ranges from 10 to 30 micrometers in length.
The shape of plant cell is cube or rectangular shaped The shape of animal cell is typically round or irregularly shaped.
Plant cell stores food in the form of starch Animal cell stores food in the form of carbohydrates.
Plant cell have plastids which is needed for photosynthesis. Animal cell do not have photosynthesis
Plant cell do not possess cilia. Animal cell possess cilia in order to aid cellular motion

 

 

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