Plant Cell Structure, Biology tutorial


Plants are exceptional among the eukaryotes, organisms whose cells encompass membrane-surrounded by nuclei and organelles, as they can prepare their own food. Chlorophyll, that gives plants their green color, allows them to employ sunlight to transform water and carbon-dioxide into carbohydrates and sugars, chemicals the cell employs for fuel.

The Nucleic Acids: DNA and RNA

DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA):

The DNA is the genetic material of most of the living systems, comprising prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Double stranded DNA is found merely in natural form. The chromosomes of eukaryotes and prokaryotes are double stranded DNA. 

RiboNucleic Acid (RNA):

RNA is the single stranded. It is the genetic material in several viruses. The RNA exists in three fundamental forms:

  • tRNA (transfer RNA) = adapter in the protein synthesis - matches codon to amino acid.
  • rRNA (ribosomal RNA) = structural RNA in the ribosome
  • mRNA (messenger RNA) = includes information for the protein synthesis

Comparison between Plant and Animal Cells:

a) Plant cells contain cell wall, however animal cells don't. 

b) Plant cells contain chloroplasts, however animal cells don't. 

c) Plant cells usually include a more rectangular shape as the cell wall is rigid. Animal cells contain a round or irregular shape as they don't contain a cell wall. 

d) Plant cells generally contain one or more big vacuole(s), whereas animal cells contain smaller vacuoles, when they are present.

Different Parts of a Plant Cell:

Plant cells are categorized into three kinds, based on the structure and function:

  • Parenchyma
  • Collenchyma
  • Sclerenchyma

The parenchyma cells are living, thin-walled and experience repeated cell division for the growth of plant. They are generally present in the stem pith, leaf epidermis, root and fruit pulp. Mature collenchyma cells are living and give stretchable support to the plant. Finally, sclerenchyma cells (example: fiber cells) are hard, non-living and provide mechanical support to the plants. Now, let us observe the various parts of a plant cell all along with their important roles.

1) Cell Wall:

Cell wall is the outermost hard and rigid layer that includes cellulose, hemi-cellulose, pectin and sometimes lignin. As anticipated, it remains joined with the cell walls of other cells. The main functions of the cell wall are protection, giving structural support and assisting in the filter method.

2) Cell Membrane:

Cell membrane, as well termed as plasma membrane, is present within the cell wall and encloses the cytoplasm. It joins the intracellular components (that is, organelles and cytoplasm) with the extracellular environment and assists in transportation and protection. The cell membrane is permeable to particular substances.

3) Chloroplasts:

The most significant feature of plants is their capability to photosynthesize, in consequence, to prepare their own food by changing light energy into chemical energy. This procedure is carried out in specialized organelles termed as chloroplasts.

4) Nucleus:

The nucleus is a very specialized organelle which serves as the information processing and administrative center of the cell. This organelle consists of two main functions: It stores the hereditary material of the cell or DNA, and it coordinates the activities of cell that comprise intermediary metabolism, growth, protein synthesis and reproduction (that is, cell division).

5) Vacuole:

Every plant cell consists of a big, single vacuole which stores compounds, assists in the growth of plant and plays a significant structural role for the plant.

6) Cytoplasm:

Cytoplasm is filled up by the Cytosol that is a gelatinous and semitransparent fluid. All the organelles of the plant cell are present in the cytoplasm. This portion of the plant cell is the site for cell division, glycolysis and several other cellular activities. As well, the cytoskeleton elements (that is, microtubules and microfilaments) are present in the Cytosol.

7) Golgi Apparatus:

The Golgi apparatus is the distribution and shipping department for the cell's chemical products. It modifies proteins and fats built in the endoplasmic reticulum and prepares them for export as outside of the cell.

8) Ribosomes:

All living cells include ribosomes, tiny organelles comprised of around 60 % RNA and 40 % protein. In eukaryotes, ribosomes are building up of four strands of RNA. In prokaryotes, they comprise of three strands of the RNA.

9) Endoplasmic Reticulum:

The endoplasmic reticulum is a network of sacs which builds up, processes and transports chemical compounds for use within and outside of the cell. It is joined to the double-layered nuclear envelope, giving a pipeline among the nucleus and the cytoplasm. In plants, the endoplasmic reticulum as well joins among cells through the plasmodesmata.

10) Microfilaments:

Microfilaments are solid rods build up of globular proteins termed as actin. Such filaments are primarily structural in function and are significant component of the cytoskeleton.

11) Microtubules:

These straight, hollow cylinders are found all through the cytoplasm of each and every eukaryotic cells (prokaryotes do not have them) and carry out a variety of functions, ranging from transport to the structural support.

12) Mitochondria: They are oblong shaped organelles found in the cytoplasm of all the eukaryotic cells. In plant cells, they break down carbohydrate and sugar molecules to give energy, specifically when light are not available for the chloroplasts to generate energy.

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