Difference Between Plant cell and Animal cell

The cell is the fundamental unit of life. In both the unicellular and multicellular organism, the cell is the structural and functional unit of life.They are composed of one or many cells that perform their individual functions. Comparatively, multicellular organisms have well-structured cell organelles, which a unicellular organism lack. Even multicellular organisms differ from one another in the cell structure and the cell organelles they have, for example, plants and animals.

In an ecosystem, plants have the role of producers while animals have taken the role of consumers. Hence, their daily activities and functions vary, so do their cell structure. Cell structure and organelles in plants and animals are based on their role. We know that the cell organelles are specific and specialized to their functions.  Each cell organelle has its particular function to perform. Some of the cell organelles are present in both plant cell and the animal cell which help them to do basic cellular activities. But few organelles are unique to the plant cell and animal cell lacks them.

The plant and animal cell structures are very much similar because of the presence of eukaryotic cells. Each eukaryotic cells consists of a plasma membrane, the nucleus,  cytoplasm, ribosomes, peroxisomes, mitochondria in general.

Plant cell and Animal cell

Both the plant and the animal cells contain the membrane-bound organelles like the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, peroxisomes, lysosomes. They also have similar membranes such as cytosol, and the cytoskeletal elements. The function of all these organelles is said to be extremely similar lying between two classes of cells. However, few differences do exist between them which are very much significant, reflecting the difference in the function of each cell.

The plant cell can also be larger than the animal cell. The normal range of the animal cell varies from about 10 – 30 micrometers and that of plant cell range between 10 – 100 micrometers. Beyond the size, the main differences between the structures of plants and animal cells lie in some additional features that are found in the plant cells.

Let’s see how a plant cell differs from an animal cell in details.

Differences Between Plant and Animal Cells

The major differences between the structure of animal and plant cells are tabulated below-

Sl.No Plant Cell Animal Cell
Cell: size and shape Plant cell have fixed and rectangular shape. The animal cell is irregular and round in shape.
Cell wall A cell wall is present A cell wall is absent
Plasma membrane Present Present
Endoplasmic reticulum Are present Are present
Nucleus Are present and lies on one side of the cell. Are present and lies in center of the cell
Lysosomes Are present but are very rare Are present
Centrosomes Are absent Are present
Golgi apparatus Are present Are present
Cytoplasm Are present Are present
Ribosome Present Present
Plastids Are present with chloroplast in them. Plastids are absent
Essential nutrients The plant cell can synthesize amino acids, vitamins and coenzymes which are required by them The animal cell cannot synthesize amino acids, vitamins, and coenzymes which are required by them
Vacuoles Usually large and few central vacuoles Usually small and numerous central vacuoles
Cilia Are absent Most of the animal cells consist of cilia in them
Mitochondria Are present and are fewer. Are present and are numerous.
Ribosomes Are present Are present

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Practise This Question

Which is the correct equation for aerobic respiration in humans?