plant cell structures

plant cells

Even though plants and animals are both eukaryotes, plant cells differ in some ways from animal cells ( Figure organelles of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts the suns solar energy into chemical energy. This chemical energy, which is the carbohydrate glucose, serves as "food" for the plant.


First, plant cells have a large central vacuole that holds a mixture of water, nutrients, and wastes. A plant cells vacuole can make up 90% of the cells volume. The large central vacuole essentially stores water. In animal cells, vacuoles are much smaller. A plant cell has several features that make it different from an animal cell, including a cell wall, huge vacuoles, and chloroplasts, which photosynthesize.


cell wall

Second, plant cells have a cell wall, while animal cells do not ( Figure 1.2). The cell wall surrounds the plasma membrane but does not keep substances from entering or leaving the cell. A cell wall gives the plant cell strength and protection. In this photo of plant cells taken with a light microscope, you can see green chloroplasts, as well as a cell wall around each cell.



A third difference between plant and animal cells is that plants have several kinds of organelles called plastids. And there are several different kinds of plastids in plant cells. For example, Chloroplasts are needed for photosynthesis, leucoplasts can store starch or oil, and brightly colored chromoplasts give some flowers and fruits their yellow, orange, or red color. It is the presence of chloroplasts and the ability to photosynthesize, that is one of the defining features of a plant. No animal or fungi can photosynthesize, and only some protists are able to. The photosynthetic protists are the plant-like protists, represented mainly by the unicellular algae.

instructional diagrams

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plant cells do not have dna.

a. true

-->  b. false

animal cells do not have chloroplasts.

-->  a. true

b. false

how much of a plant cell can be filled by the central vacuole?

a) 50%

b) 75%

-->  c) 90%

d) 100%

which organelle gives the plant cell strength and protection?

a) the large central vacuole

-->  b) the cell wall

c) the chloroplast

d) the endoplasmic reticulum

which organelle is outside the cell membrane?

a) the plasma membrane

b) the plasma wall

-->  c) the cell wall

d) the outer membrane

which organelle stores water for the plant cell?

a) the vacuole

b) the chloroplast

-->  c) the large central vacuole

d) the vesicle

which organelle turns solar energy into chemical energy?

-->  a) the chloroplast

b) the mitochondria

c) the golgi apparatus

d) the endoplasmic reticulum

diagram questions

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