The cell is the fundamental unit of life. All the life activities are carried out by cells. The organisms are classified based on the number of cells present in them. Unicellular organisms are single-celled, while multicellular organisms have a large number of cells.
Unicellular organisms are believed to be one of the earliest forms of life on earth. Eventually, more complex multicellular organisms evolved from these unicellular life forms over the aeons. Multicellular organisms have specialized cells with complicated cell organelles, which unicellular organisms typically lack.
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 vary in plants and animals, and they are primarily classified based on their function. The difference in their cell composition is the reason behind the difference between plants and animals, their structure and functions.
Each cell organelle has a particular function to perform. Some of the cell organelles are present in both plant cell and the animal cell, while others are unique to just one. Most of the earth’s higher organisms are eukaryotes, including all plant and animals. Hence, these cells share some similarities typically associated with eukaryotes. For instance, most eukaryotic cells consist of a plasma membrane, a nucleus, cytoplasm, ribosomes, peroxisomes, mitochondria and other cell organelles.
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Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell
As stated before, plant cells and animal cells share a few common cell organelles as both are eukaryotes. The function of all these organelles is said to be extremely similar lying between two classes of cells. However, major differences do exist between them which significantly reflect the difference in the functions of each cell.
The major difference between the plant cell and animal cell are mentioned below:
|Plant Cell||Animal Cell|
|Present and lies on one side of the cell||Present and lies in the centre of the cell|
|Present but are very rare||Present|
|Few large or a single, centrally positioned vacuole||Usually small and numerous|
|Absent||Present in most of the animal cells|
|Present but fewer in number||Present and are numerous|
|Mode of Nutrition|
Both plant and animal cells contain membrane-bound organelles like the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, peroxisomes, lysosomes. They also have similar membranes such as cytosol, and cytoskeletal elements. The plant cell can also be larger than the animal cell. The normal range of the animal cell varies from about 10 – 30 micrometres and that of plant cell range between 10 – 100 micrometres.
Also Read: Cellulose in Digestion
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do plant cells exclusively have that animal cells don’t?
Plant cells have a cell wall and plastids that animal cells lack.
Explain how plant and animal cells vary with respect to their shape.
Plant cell have a square or rectangular shape while the animal cells have an irregular or round shape.
Explain why plant cells are generally larger than animal cells?
Plant cells contain a large central vacuole that occupies a majority of the volume and makes the cell larger. This vacuole is usually absent in the animal cell.
What is the function of vacuoles in a plant cell?
The vacuole stores waste material in a plant cell. It also maintains proper pressure in a plant cell that helps in providing proper support and structure to the growing plants.
Name some cell organelles present exclusively in animal cells.
Animal cells contain lysosomes and centrosomes that are completely absent in a plant cell.
Name the cell organelle responsible for providing structural support for plant cells apart from the cell wall.
The central vacuole provides structural support to the plant cell.
Which cell organelle is responsible for carrying out photosynthesis in a plant cell?
Chloroplasts are responsible for carrying out photosynthesis in a plant cell.