NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 - Cell: The Unit of Life

Get access to NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 Cell: The Unit of Life. These solutions enable students to easily prepare for the topics covered in the CBSE Syllabus 2023-24 for Class 11. Biology NCERT Solutions for Class 11 are formulated by highly experienced academic professionals and faculty members possessing years of experience and thorough knowledge in their respective fields. Thereby, students are served with the aptest and most reliable resources for both board examinations as well competitive examinations.

At BYJU’S, students are presented with NCERT Solutions, which are aligned with the information provided in the NCERT textbook for Class 11. Hence, students are assured that the information provided in the NCERT Solutions does not deviate from the standard study resource, the textbook.

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

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Access Answers to NCERT Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

1. Which of the following is not correct?

(a) Robert Brown discovered the cell.

(b) Schleiden and Schwann formulated the cell theory.

(c) Virchow explained that cells are formed from pre-existing cells.

(d) A unicellular organism carries out its life activities within a single cell.


The answer is (a) Robert Brown discovered the cell

It is incorrect because Robert Brown discovered the nucleus in the cell.

2. New cells generate from

(a) bacterial fermentation

(b) regeneration of old cells

(c) pre-existing cells

(d) abiotic materials


The answer is (c) pre-existing cells

3. Match the following

Column I Column II
(a) Cristae (i) Flat membranous sacs in stroma
(b) Cisternae (ii) Infoldings in mitochondria
(c) Thylakoids (iii) Disc-shaped sacs in Golgi apparatus


Column I Column II
(a) Cristae (ii) Infoldings in mitochondria
(b) Cisternae (iii) Disc-shaped sacs in Golgi apparatus
(c) Thylakoids (i) Flat membranous sacs in stroma

4. Which of the following is correct?

(a) Cells of all living organisms have a nucleus.

(b) Both animal and plant cells have a well-defined cell wall.

(c) In prokaryotes, there are no membrane-bound organelles.

(d) Cells are formed de novo from abiotic materials


The answer is (c) In prokaryotes, there are no membrane-bound organelles.

5. What is a mesosome in a prokaryotic cell? Mention the functions that it performs.


A mesosome is a unique membranous structure formed by the extensions of the plasma membrane into the cell. If it is found attached to the nucleoid, it is known as a septal mesosome and is known as a lateral mesosome if the mesosome is free from the nucleoid.

The functions of mesosomes are as follows:

  • They help in cell-wall formation
  • They help in DNA replication and distribution to daughter cells.
  • They also help in respiration and secretion processes to increase the surface area of the plasma membrane and enzymatic content.

6. How do neutral solutes move across the plasma membrane? Can the polar molecules also move across it in the same way? If not, how are these transported across the membrane?


The neutral solutes are lipid-soluble; hence they pass through the lipid bilayer. No, polar molecules cannot move across the plasma membrane in the same way as neutral solutes; they require particular hydrophilic areas for their passage. They get transported by three types of transport mechanisms – ions, channels, permeases and active transport utilising ATP.

7. Name two cell organelles that are double membrane-bound. What are the characteristics of these two organelles? State their functions and draw labelled diagrams of both.


Two organelles that are double membrane-bound are i) Mitochondria ii) Chloroplasts

Characteristics of mitochondria

The mitochondrion is a double membrane-bound structure with the outer membrane and the inner membrane dividing its lumen distinctly into two aqueous compartments, i.e., the outer compartment and the inner compartment.

  • Mitochondria are semi-autonomous as they possess their own DNA.
  • Mitochondria are the place of aerobic respiration.

structure of mitochondria

Characteristics of Chloroplasts

  • They are found in plants and euglenoids, variously shaped in lower plants and disc-shaped in higher plants.
  • They have specific pigments which impart colour to the leaves of the plants.
  • Chloroplasts possess their own DNA.
  • Pigments help to trap sunlight, thereby helping in photosynthesis.
  • It consists of membrane-flattened sacs known as thylakoids located in their matrix. At some locations, thylakoids are stacked and are known as Gana.

chloroplast structure

8. What are the characteristics of prokaryotic cells?


The characteristics of prokaryotic cells are listed below:

  • The nuclear membrane is absent, and the genetic material is not enclosed by an envelope. The naked DNA is found to be coiled in the cytoplasm and is referred to as a genophore or nucleoid
  • They lack membrane-bound organelles and membrane-bound nucleus
  • The cell lumen is filled with a fluid known as cytoplasm
  • Prokaryotic DNA is situated in the nucleoid of the cell
  • The prokaryotic cell wall acts as a layer of protection and helps in maintaining cell shape
  • The ribosome is the only cytoplasmic organelle that is found in prokaryotic cells

9. Multicellular organisms have a division of labour. Explain.


Cells are organised to form tissues which make organs and organ systems. A cell is an autonomous structure which is capable of carrying out functions on its own. Hence, the division of labour is essential to carry out different functions for increased efficiency and higher survival.

10. The cell is the basic unit of life. Discuss in brief.


Every plant and animal cells are made of organ systems, and organ systems are made up of organs. Organs are constructed by tissues, and tissues are made up of a cluster of cells. Since cells are autonomous structures capable of carrying out functions on their own, it is said that the cell is the basic unit of life.

11. What are nuclear pores? State their function.


At several places, the nuclear membrane is surrounded by minute pores formed by the fusion of two membranes called nuclear pores. They are simple perforations on the nuclear envelope.


  • Retains the shape of the nucleus
  • Known to preserve the stability of the genetic material by safeguarding it from respiratory breakdown occurring in the cytoplasm
  • Responsible for the movement of RNA and protein molecules in both directions between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.

12. Both lysosomes and vacuoles are endomembrane structures, yet they differ in terms of their functions. Comment.


The endomembrane is an intercellular system responsible for the flow of materials from one part to another through vesicles. Some of its components are vacuoles, plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, lysosomes and Golgi apparatus. Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles that release lytic enzymes to digest worn-out cells; hence they are known as suicidal bags. On the other hand, vacuoles help cells to maintain their shape. Vacuoles also store food, water and waste products.

13. Describe the structure of the following with the help of labelled diagrams.

(i) Nucleus (ii) Centrosome


i) The nucleus is an oval-shaped or round structure having a double membrane containing the genetic material. It consists of five parts, namely – the nuclear envelope, nuclear matrix, nucleoplasm, nucleolus and chromatin.

Nuclear envelope – The nucleus is constrained by the nuclear pore, which is a double-membrane nuclear envelope having tiny pores in the membrane which serve as a channel for substances to pass in and out of the nucleus. The endoplasmic reticulum is connected to the outer membrane, which also contains ribosomes.

Nucleoplasm – It is the fluid, filled in the nucleus containing enzymes, nucleosides, proteins and other factors responsible for the functioning of the genetic material. It also embeds the chromatin fibres and nucleolus.

Chromatin – They are found inside the nucleus; they are a fine network of thread-like structures containing DNA and a few basic proteins such as histones, RNA and non-histone proteins. These chromatin fibres, during the process of cell division, condense to form the chromosomes.

Nucleolus – They are attached to the chromatin and are round, lightly irregular, naked structures that produce the ribosome subunits. They produce proteins.

Nucleus structure

(ii) Centrosome

  • It consists of two cylindrical structures known as centrioles which lie perpendicular to one another, organised as a cartwheel
  • Engirdled by amorphous pericentriolar materials
  • Consists of 9 evenly spaced peripheral fibrils of the tubulin protein, wherein each is a triplet and adjacent triplets are linked to each other
  • The centre of the centriole is a proteinaceous hub attached to the triplets through radial spokes
  • It is critical during cell division as it organises the spindle fibres and astral rays

Centrosome structure

14. What is a centromere? How does the position of the centromere form the basis of the classification of chromosomes? Support your answer with a diagram showing the position of the centromere on different types of chromosomes.


The primary constriction present in a chromosome is called the centromere.

The centromere holds two chromatids of a chromosome.

Based on the position of the centromere, the chromosomes can be classified into four types, and they are as follows:

  • The Metacentric has a middle centromere forming two equal arms of the chromosomes.
  • Submetacentric chromosomes have a centromere slightly away from the middle of the chromosomes resulting in one shorter arm and one more extended arm.
  • Acrocentric chromosomes have a centromere situated close to its end, forming one extremely short and one very long arm.
  • The telocentric chromosome has a terminal centromere.

Chromosome types based on centromere position

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 covers Cell: The Unit of Life as the eighth chapter categorised under Unit 3 – Cell: Structure and Functions of the CBSE syllabus. Unit 3 constitutes about 15 marks of the total marks as per past trends, which roughly comes up to 21% of the total weightage of the question paper.

Therefore, it is essential that students learn all the chapters covered under Unit 3 thoroughly, which will be helpful not only for the board examinations but will also enable them to face challenging questions appearing in the competitive entrance exams.

List of Subtopics Covered in Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

Number Subtopic
8.1 What is a Cell?
8.2 Cell Theory
8.3 An Overview of Cell
8.4 Prokaryotic Cells
8.5 Eukaryotic Cells

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

The cell is a structural and functional unit of a living entity. This chapter provides details about cells, the composition of cells, etc. Some organisms possess a single cell, known as unicellular organisms, while some others are composed of multiple cells, referred to as multicellular organisms.

The chapter also takes students through two broad groups of classification – eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The cell consists of different constituents, some of which are absent in the plant cell, while some are absent in an animal cell.

Key Features of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 – Cell: The Unit of Life

  • NCERT Solutions cover all the fundamental concepts
  • Extra attention towards answering methodologies
  • Use of tables and diagrams wherever necessary
  • Concepts are elucidated in a simple manner
  • Solutions are researched and reviewed by subject-matter experts
  • Solutions are available in a free, downloadable format

Frequently Asked Questions on NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8


Explain the functions of Memosome from Chapter 8 of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology.

The functions of Memosome from Chapter 8 of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology are listed below:
1. Memosome helps in cell wall formation.
2. DNA replication and distribution is done by Memosome.
3. Memosome help in secretion and respiration processes to increase the surface area of enzymatic content and plasma membrane.

What are the concepts included in Chapter 8 of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology?

The concepts included in Chapter 8 of NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology are as follows:
8.1 – What is a Cell?
8.2 – Cell Theory
8.3 – An Overview of Cell
8.4 – Prokaryotic Cells
8.5 – Eukaryotic Cells

Why are the NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Biology Chapter 8 considered to be the best study material for CBSE students?

1. All the basic concepts are explained clearly.
2. Numerous methodologies in answering complex questions are followed.
3. Diagrams and tables are used wherever necessary to help visual learning.
4. The experts conduct vast research on each concept before preparing the solutions.
5. PDF format of solutions can be downloaded for free from BYJU’S.
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