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Animal and Plant cells

Animal cell

All animals are mutlicellular. Human body contains trillions of cells. 
All animal cells are eukaryotic, they are surrounded by cell membrane and do not have a cell wall.

Structure of a Typical Animal Cell

The components of animal cells are centrioles, cilia and flagella, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, lysosomes, microfilaments, microtubules,mitochondria, nucleus, peroxisomes, plasma membrane and ribosomes.

There are many different cell types, approximately 210 distinct cell types in adult human body.

Plant cell

Plant cell are eukaryotic cells, they are membrane bound organelles. They are surrounded by a rigid cell wall.
Plant cells are similar to animal cells in being eukaryotic and they have similar cell organelles.

Plant Cell Anatomy

Generally, plant cells are larger than animal cells and are mostly similar in size and are rectangular or cube shaped. 
plant cell contains a few distinctive features like a cell wall, large vacuole and plastids.

 

Parts of Animal and Plant Cells

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Following are the parts and description of the animal cell and plant cell 

Structure of a Plant Cell

Cell membrane: It is the outer lining of the cell which encloses all other cell organelles. The cell membrane also known as the plasma membrane is semipermeable. It allows only specific molecules to pass through and blocking others.

Cell wall: The cell wall is a rigid layer that surrounds the plant cells. Plant cell walls are primarily made up of cellulose. It is located outside the cell membrane whose main function is to provide rigidity, strength, protection against mechanical stress and infection. 

Cytoplasm: It is the fluid substance that fills the cell. All the cell organelles are suspended in the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm maintains the osmotic concentration of the cells and prevents them from bursting or shrinking.

Nucleus: It is a membrane bound organelle, spherical in shape. Most of the activities of the cell is directed by the nucleus. 
All the cells in an animal has one complete set of genes in its nucleus. The genetic material DNA help in protein formation.

Nucleolus: It is darkly stained are in the nucleus, it aids in protein formation and RNA synthesis. 

Nuclear membrane: It is the porous double membrane layer surrounding the nucleus. It allows passage of substances and is a distinctive characteristic of the eukaryotic cell.

Nucleoplasm: It is the semi-fluid substance inside the nucleus, contains the genetic material and the nucleolus.

Mitochondria: Mitochondria is one of the largest organ of the cell and is known as the 'power house of the cell'. It is a spherical or rod shaped organelles and is enveloped by a double membrane.  The mitochondria aids in conversion of glucose to high energy molecules (ATP) for the cell.

Ribosomes: Ribosomes are found on the endoplasmic reticulum. Together they help in manufacturing proteins for the cell following instructions of the nucleus.

Lysosomes: Lysosomes are membrane bound organelles, they contain digestive enzymes. They break down the waste products and detoxify the cell. 

Centrosome: It is a small body located near the nucleus. Centrioles are made in the centrosomes. During cell division the centromere organizes the assembly of the micro-tubules.

Endoplasmic reticulum: It is a large network of interconnecting membrane tunnels. It is composed of both rough endoplasmic reticulum and smooth endoplasmic reticulum. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is covered with ribosomes hence appears rough. They follow the instructions from the nucleus and make proteins the cell needs. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is continuous with the outer nuclear membrane. It transports material through the cell and produces and digests lipids and membrane proteins.

Golgi apparatus: They are flattened stacks of membrane bound sacs. They function as the packaging unit, the proteins formed by the endoplasmic reticulum are packed into small membrane sacs called vesicles. 

Vacuoles: They are organelles for storage. Small membrane bound vacuoles filled with fluids and water are present in animals. In plant cells the vacuoles perform functions of secretion, excretion and storage.

Chloroplasts: It is an elongated or disc-shaped organelle containing chlorophyll. It is the site for photosynthesis in a plant cell. The green pigment chlorophyll absorbs energy from sunlight.

Cytoskeleton: It is a network of fibers made up of micro-tubule and micro-filament. They maintain the shape and gives support to the cell.

Plasmodesmata: They are microscopic channels which traverse the cell walls of plant cells and enables transport and communication between them.
 
Plastids: Plastids are storage organelles. They store products like starch for synthesis of fatty acids and terpenes.  

Structure of Animal and Plant Cells

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Plant cells are similar to animal cells in being eukaryotic and they have similar cell organelles.

Generally, plant cells are larger than animal cells and are mostly similar in size and are rectangular or cube shaped. Plant cell contains a few distinctive features like a cell wall, large vacuole and plastids. 
 
Animal cells are typical eukaryotic cells. They are enclosed by plasma membrane and constitutes of membrane bound nucleus and organelles. Animal cells do not have cell wall. Due to the lack of the cell wall the size of the cell varies and the shape is irregular. Animal cells contain structures like centrioles, cilia and flagella and lysosomes.

Anatomy of an Animal Cell

Cell membrane: All cells are covered by cell membrane. It supports and protects the cell. It also controls the movement of materials in/out of cell. 
It forms a barrier between cell and its environment. Also helps maintain homeostasis.

Cell Wall: Cell wall is seen only in plant cell. It is made of cellulose. The function of the cell wall is to support,protect and allow diffusion of gases in and out of the cell. The strength of the cell walls help the tree to stand tall and grow against gravity.

Nucleus: It is a membrane bound organelle, spherical in shape. Most of the activities of the cell is directed by the nucleus. It also contains the hereditary material of the cell and also helps in protein synthesis. It is surrounded  by a porous membrane the nuclear membrane which enables movement of materials in/out of the cell. 

Nucleolus: It is darkly stained are in the nucleus, it aids in protein formation and RNA synthesis. 

Endoplasmic reticulum: ER is a membrane bound organelle which makes lipids and other materials. It helps carrying materials through the cell and it aids in proteins synthesis.

Ribosomes: Ribosomes are the smallest cell organelles and are most abundant. They are found in all cells, as they synthesize proteins that are required for the survival of the cell.

Mitochondria: mitochondria is a double membrane bound organelle and has numerous folds. It is the site of aerobic cellular respiration and breaks down sugar molecule to release energy. Most of the ATP is made here. 

Chloroplast: Chloroplasts are bound by two membranes. They are flattened structures and look like stack of coins. It is found in plant cells and is absent in animal cells. It is the site of photosynthesis in plants to prepare food(glucose) for the plant with the use of energy. Also helps in release of oxygen.

Golgi apparatus: The Golgi complex looks like the ER, and are located near the nucleus. Its function is to modify proteins made by the cell and pack and export proteins to the cell parts.

Vacuole: Plant cells have large membrane bound chamber called vacuole. Its main function is storage. It stores food, water, metabolic and toxic wastes. Also stores large amounts of food or sugars in plants.

Lysosome: These are special vesicles in animal cells, they contain enzymes. It digests old cell parts and breaks down larger food molecules.

Compare Animal and Plant Cells

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Below you could see Comparison of Plant Cells and Animal Cells.



  Plant Cell  Animal Cell 
Cell Wall   Cell wall made of cellulose is present in almost all cells.  Cell wall is absent.
 Plastids  Plastids like leucoplasts, chloroplast and chromoplasts are present.  No plastids found.
Chloroplasts   Plants cells have chloroplasts to prepare their own food.  Chloroplasts completely absent.
 Vacuoles  Cell sap containing vacuoles are present.  Vacuoles are usually absent or one or more small vacuoles are seen.
 Lysosomes  Lysosomes not evident.  Lysosomes occur in cytoplasm.
 Nucleus  Due to the presence of the vacoule at the centre of the cell, nucleus may be located at the edge of the cell.  Nucleus is usually located centrally.
 Golgi bodies   Plant cells have many simpler units of golgi complex, called dictyosomes.  Animal cells have a single highly elaborate golgi complex.
 Endoplasmic reticulum  Present  Present
 Ribosomes   Present   Present 
 Mitochondria  Present   Present 
 Centrioles   Present only in lower plant forms.  Present 
 Microtubules/ microfilaments   Present   Present 
 Flagella   May be found in some cells.  May be found in some cells.
 Cilia   Very rare  Present
 Nutrition  Can prepare own food through photosynthesis.  Cannot make their own food. They depend directly or indirectly on plants for their food.
 Locomotion  Most plants do not exhibit movement.  Most animals exhibit locomotion
 Growth and development  Keep growing throughout their life and are localized in the apical meristem.  Growth stops after maturation, but body cells are replaced periodically .
 Cell shape and structure   Rigid, fixes rectangular shape.  Lack rigidity, are round and irregular shape.
 Starch grains   Present  Are not present.
More topics in Animal and Plant Cells
Plant Cell Animal Cell
Organelles Plasma Membrane
Cell Wall Cytoplasm
Centrioles Golgi Apparatus
Mitochondria Ribosomes
Nucleus Endoplasmic Reticulum
Chloroplast Photosynthesis
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