Plant and Animal Cells

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by bsebastiao
Last updated 5 years ago

Cell Biology

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Plant and Animal Cells


Plants and Animals


One of the most important parts of the cell is the nucleus. The nucleus is a large, dense structure contained in the cells of many organsisms. The nucleus contains nearly all of a cell's DNA which is spread throughout the nucleus in a material called chromatin. By storing DNA in the nucleus, the cell is better able to control and regulate its use.

Cell Membrane

Every cell has a cell membrane along its outer boundary. The role of the cell membrane is to separate and protect the cell from its surrounding. The cell membrane allows certain substances to permeate it, or pass through it. For this specific reason, the cell membrane is classified as selectively permeable.

Endoplasmic Retriculum

Both the endoplasmic retriculum and the Golgi apparatus are networks of membranes within the cell. The function of both organelles is to process and transport proteins and other macromolecules. The term endoplasmic retriculum means "network inside the cell."


The organelle that produces energy from a chemical fuel is called the mitochondrion. However, the source of chemical fuel is not coal or natural gas but complex organic molecules, such as gluclose or other sugarsThey are found in all sorts of eukaryotic organisms, including most plants and animals.

The Cell Wall

The cell wall is located outside the cell membrane. Organisms such as, plants, bacteria, and algae have a cell wall. Animal cells, however, do not have cell walls. This is an important difference between plant cells and animal cells. The cell wall helps support and protect the cell. Most cell walls are very porous. They allow water, gases, and other substances to pass through easliy. Most cell walls are made of fibers of carbohydrates and protein.


Many cells store materials in saclike structures called vacuoles. In animal cells, vacuoles may store proteins, fats, or catbohydrates. In plant cells, a large, central vacuole often stores water and dissolved salts. Vacuoles also provide plant cells with support. The pressure inside the vacuoles allows a plant to grow quickly and support heavy structures such as leaves and flowers.


Most cells contain small structures called ribosomes. Ribosomes are tiny particles made of RNA and protein. A ribosome is only about 20 nanometers wide, or about 0.20% of the width of a typical cell. Ribosomes are the sites where proteins are assembled. A ribosome can be pictured as a small assembler that produces proteins and gets instructuions from the nucleus.


The workers of the cleanup crew of the cell are the lysosome. Lysosomes are saclike membranes filled with chemicals and enzymes that can break down almost any substance within the cell. Sometimes, lysosomes will fuse with a damaged organelle and literally break it apart into basic chemical compounds. As a result, the lysosomes both clear away the damaged organelle and recycle its components for other uses in the cell


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