The Plant Cell, Parts and Structure

The plant cell is a eukaryotic cell type that composes plant tissues in organisms What make up the Kingdom Plantae?.

The plant cell shares similarities with the animal cell. For example, both are eukaryotic cells, they have a differentiated nucleus, contain hereditary genetic information (DNA), membrane, and cytoplasm.

The main function of the plant cell is the photosynthesischemical process through which plants synthesize organic substances using light energy, to later release oxygen.

diagram of the parts of the plant cell

Parts of the plant cell

Icell membrane: it is a thin bilayer of lipids and proteins that delimits the cell. The membrane has channels through which it exchanges substances with the outside.

Cell nucleus: It is the control center of everything that happens in the cell. It has much of the genetic content in the form of DNA.

Cytoplasm: It is the material that lies between the plasma membrane and the nucleus. In it are proteins, sugars, ions and other cell organelles.

Cellular wall: It is a layer composed of cellulose that gives shape to the cell and protects the plasma membrane. In the cell wall are the plasmodesmata, a set of channels that remain interconnected to the different cells of a plant and allow the exchange of material.

plant cell organelles

The following organelles are found in the cytoplasm of the plant cell:

Golgi apparatus: set of sacks in a flattened shape and arranged one on top of the other. Its function is to produce, store and distribute substances.

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Ribosomes: organelles made up of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and proteins, responsible for synthesizing proteins.

Endoplasmic reticulum: membranes surrounding the nucleus. The rough endoplasmic reticulum contains ribosomes and is involved in protein synthesis; the smooth endoplasmic reticulum does not have a ribosome and is responsible for the synthesis of lipids.

Mitochondria: where cellular respiration takes place through which ATP (adenosine trisphosphate) is produced.

vacuole: it is a large internal sac that is enclosed by a membrane called the tonoplast. This vacuole contains water and other materials and participates in the fluid reserve.

plastids: they produce and store the chemical compounds necessary for the process of photosynthesis, synthesis of lipids and amino acids. There are several types of plastids according to their content:

  • chloroplasts: They are the characteristic organelles of cells that deal with photosynthesis. They convert light energy into chemical energy. In addition, they contain the pigment chlorophyll, a substance that gives plants their green color.
  • leucoplasts: are the plastids responsible for storing colorless substances. Converts glucose into protein or fat.
  • Chromoplasts: They are a type of plastid that stores the pigments that give some flowers and fruits their coloration.

plant cell structure

Plant cell

Scheme of the structure of the plant cell.

We can imagine the plant cell as a balloon, filled with jelly with bits of fruit, inside a shoebox. The shoebox would be the rigid cell wall that protects the cell. The balloon would be the plasma membrane, the jelly would be the cytoplasm, and the pieces of fruit would be the organelles that float in the cytoplasm.

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In many plant cells, the central vacuole is so large that it takes up almost the entire space of the cell, pushing and crushing the other components towards the cell membrane.

Characteristics of plant cells

Plant cells have various characteristics, among which the following can be mentioned:

  • The immature plant cell has several vacuoles which, as they grow, coalesce and become one large vacuole.
  • They have a central vacuole that allows the movement of molecules and stores fluids.
  • They have a cell wall outside the cell membrane, which provides support and allows communication with nearby cells.
  • These cells contain chloroplasts that allow photosynthesis and have chlorophyll, which gives plants their green color.

See also Characteristics of the plant cell.

Types of plant cells and their functions

There are three types of plant cells, including:

Parenchyma cell: They are transfer cells. They store and transport the nutrients that are generated from photosynthesis.

Collenchyma cells: form the growing cells and have a primary wall. They also provide flexibility to plant stems.

Sclerenchyma cells: They are bra cells and support for the movements of the stems and leaves of plants.

See also:

  • Kingdom plantae.
  • Cell parts.
  • Animal and plant cell.
  • Cell types.
  • Animal cell