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Cell Membrane
The cell membrane is also known as the plasma membrane. It is the outermost covering of the
animal cell. It protects the cell and regulates the entry and exit of substances, namely ions and
solutes.

Cell Wall
The cell wall is the outermost covering of the plant cell made up of cellulose, and surrounds the
cell membrane. It protects the cell, provides mechanical support and is responsible for
maintaining pressure inside the cell.

Centrosome
The centrosome of the animal cell contains one or two centrioles, and is surrounded by
microtubules or the centrosphere. It initiates and regulates cell division.

Chloroplast
The chloroplast of the plant cell is a green-colored plastid. Chlorophyll contained in the
chloroplast captures energy from sunlight and helps in the manufacture of food by the process of
photosynthesis.

Chromoplast
The chromoplast of the plant cell is a plastid that is colored differently in different cells. It
contains pigments such as xanthophyll (yellow in color) and carotene (orangish-red in color). It
imparts color to flowers and fruits of plants.

Cytoplasm
The cytoplasm is composed of a mixture of water and soluble organic & inorganic compounds,
and contains most of the cell organelles. It is the house of all metabolic functions and activities
of the animal cell.

Endoplasmic Reticulum
The endoplasmic reticulum consists of tubular structures (convoluted tubules) lying near the
nucleus. It provides support to the plant cell and the animal cell. It is of two types, namely the
smooth endoplasmic reticulum (does not have ribosomes attached to it) and the rough
endoplasmic reticulum (has ribosomes attached to it).

Golgi Apparatus
The golgi apparatus of the animal cell consists of flat vesicular structures placed one on top of
the other. It synthesizes and secretes certain substances, namely hormones and enzymes.

Leucoplast
The leucoplast of the plant cell is a colorless plastid. It helps in the storage of starch.

!Lysosome
The lysosome of the animal cell is a membranous sac budded off from the golgi apparatus, and
contains several types of enzymes. It performs intracellular digestion and destroys foreign
substances.

Mitochondrion
The mitochondrion of the cell has two layers of membrane, of which the inner one is folded to

form cristae. It is the site of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) synthesis.

Nuclear Membrane
The nuclear membrane is the covering of the nucleus of the cell, and has numerous pores. It
allows substances to enter and leave.

Nucleolus
The nucleolus is contained in the nucleus of the cell, and is round in shape. It synthesizes
proteins by producing and storing RNA (Ribonucleic acid).

Nucleoplasm
The nucleoplasm is a dense fluid containing chromatin fibres, which are made up of DNA
(Deoxyribonucleic acid). After cell division takes place, these chromatin fibres undergo certain
structural changes, and are called chromosomes. These chromosomes carry the hereditary
information of the genes.

Nucleus
The nucleus is the most important part of the cell, and contains large amounts of DNA
(Deoxyribonucleic acid). It controls and coordinates all the activities and functions of the cell.

Ribosome
The ribosome is chiefly composed of RNA (Ribonucleic acid). It synthesizes proteins.
Vacuole
The vacuole of the plant cell is a very large and abundant vesicle. It is filled with fluids, and
helps in the storage of water and other substances.Y

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Nucleus: The nucleus is the most obvious organelle
in any eukaryotic cell. It is enclosed in a double
membrane and communicates with the surrounding
cytosol via numerous nuclear pores. Within the nucleus is the DNA responsible for providing the
cell with its unique characteristics. The DNA is similar in every cell of the body, but depending
on the specific cell type, some genes may be turned on or off - that's why a liver cell is different
from a muscle cell, and a muscle cell is different from a fat cell. When a cell is dividing, the
nuclear chromatin (DNA and surrounding protein) condenses into chromosomes that are easily
seen by microscopy.

Nucleolus: The prominent structure in the nucleus is the nucleolus. The nucleolus produces
ribosomes, which move out of the nucleus and take positions on the rough endoplasmic
reticulum where they are critical in protein synthesis.

Cytosol: The cytosol is the "soup" within which all the other cell organelles reside and where
most of the cellular metabolism occurs. Though mostly water, the cytosol is full of proteins that
control cell metabolism including signal transduction pathways, glycolysis, intracellular
receptors, and transcription factors.

Cytoplasm: This is a collective term for the cytosol plus the organelles suspended within the
cytosol.

Centrosome: The centrosome, or MICROTUBULE ORGANIZING CENTER (MTOC), is an


area in the cell where microtubules are produced. Plant and animal cell centrosomes play similar
roles in cell division, and both include collections of microtubules, but the plant cell centrosome
is simpler and does not have centrioles.

During animal cell division, the centrioles replicate (make new copies) and the centrosome
divides. The result is two centrosomes, each with its own pair of centrioles. The two centrosomes
move to opposite ends of the nucleus, and from each centrosome, microtubules grow into a
"spindle" which is responsible for separating replicated chromosomes into the two daughter
cells.

Centriole (animal cells only): Each centriole is a ring of nine groups of fused microtubules.
There are three microtubules in each group. Microtubules (and centrioles) are part of the
cytoskeleton. In the complete animal cell centrosome, the two centrioles are arranged such that
one is perpendicular to the other.

Golgi: The Golgi apparatus is a membrane-bound structure with a single membrane. It is actually
a stack of membrane-bound vesicles that are important in packaging macromolecules for
transport elsewhere in the cell. The stack of larger vesicles is surrounded by numerous smaller
vesicles containing those packaged macromolecules. The enzymatic or hormonal contents of
lysosomes, peroxisomes and secretory vesicles are packaged in membrane-bound vesicles at the
periphery of the Golgi apparatus.

Lysosome: Lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes necessary for intracellular digestion. They
are common in animal cells, but rare in plant cells. Hydrolytic enzymes of plant cells are more
often found in the vacuole.

Peroxisome: Peroxisomes are membrane-bound packets of oxidative enzymes. In plant cells,


peroxisomes play a variety of roles including converting fatty acids to sugar and assisting
chloroplasts in photorespiration. In animal cells, peroxisomes protect the cell from its own
production of toxic hydrogen peroxide. As an example, white blood cells produce hydrogen
peroxide to kill bacteria. The oxidative enzymes in peroxisomes break down the hydrogen
peroxide into water and oxygen.

Secretory Vesicle: Cell secretions - e.g. hormones, neurotransmitters - are packaged in secretory
vesicles at the Golgi apparatus. The secretory vesicles are then transported to the cell surface for
release.

Cell Membrane: Every cell is enclosed in a membrane, a double layer of phospholipids (lipid
bilayer). The exposed heads of the bilayer are "hydrophilic" (water loving), meaning that they
are compatible with water both within the cytosol and outside of the cell. However, the hidden
tails of the phosopholipids are "hydrophobic" (water fearing), so the cell membrane acts as a
protective barrier to the uncontrolled flow of water. The membrane is made more complex by the
presence of numerous proteins that are crucial to cell activity. These proteins include receptors
for odors, tastes and hormones, as well as pores responsible for the controlled entry and exit of
ions like sodium (Na+) potassium (K+), calcium (Ca++) and chloride (Cl-).

Mitochondria: Mitochondria provide the energy a cell needs to move, divide, produce secretory
products, contract - in short, they are the power centers of the cell. They are about the size of
bacteria but may have different shapes depending on the cell type. Mitochondria are membrane-
bound organelles, and like the nucleus have a double membrane. The outer membrane is fairly
smooth. But the inner membrane is highly convoluted, forming folds (cristae) as seen in the
cross-section, above. The cristae greatly increase the inner membrane's surface area. It is on
these cristae that food (sugar) is combined with oxygen to produce ATP - the primary energy
source for the cell.

Vacuole: A vacuole is a membrane-bound sac that plays roles in intracellular digestion and the
release of cellular waste products. In animal cells, vacuoles are generally small. Vacuoles tend to
be large in plant cells and play several roles: storing nutrients and waste products, helping
increase cell size during growth, and even acting much like lysosomes of animal cells. The plant
cell vacuole also regulates turgor pressure in the cell. Water collects in cell vacuoles, pressing
outward against the cell wall and producing rigidity in the plant. Without sufficient water, turgor
pressure drops and the plant wilts.
Cell Wall (plant cells only): Plant cells have a rigid, protective cell wall made up of
polysaccharides. In higher plant cells, that polysaccharide is usually cellulose. The cell wall
provides and maintains the shape of these cells and serves as a protective barrier. Fluid collects
in the plant cell vacuole and pushes out against the cell wall. This turgor pressure is responsible
for the crispness of fresh vegetables.

Chloroplast (plant cells only): Chloroplasts are specialized organelles found in all higher plant
cells. These organelles contain the plant cell's chlorophyll responsible for the plant's green color.
Chloroplasts have a double outer membrane. Within the stroma are other membrane structures -
the thylakoids. Thylakoids appear in stacks called "grana" (singular = granum).

Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum: Throughout the eukaryotic cell, especially those responsible for
the production of hormones and other secretory products, is a vast network of membrane-bound
vesicles and tubules called the endoplasmic reticulum, or ER for short. The ER is a continuation
of the outer nuclear membrane and its varied functions suggest the complexity of the eukaryotic
cell.
The smooth endoplasmic reticulum is so named because it appears smooth by electron
microscopy. Smooth ER plays different functions depending on the specific cell type including
lipid and steroid hormone synthesis, breakdown of lipid-soluble toxins in liver cells, and control
of calcium release in muscle cell contraction.

Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum: Rough endoplasmic reticulum appears "pebbled" by electron


microscopy due to the presence of numerous ribosomes on its surface. Proteins synthesized on
these ribosomes collect in the endoplasmic reticulum for transport throughout the cell.

Ribosomes: Ribosomes are packets of RNA and protein that play a crucial role in both
prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. They are the site of protein synthesis. Each ribosome comprises
two parts, a large subunit and a small subunit. Messenger RNA from the cell nucleus is moved
systematically along the ribosome where transfer RNA adds individual amino acid molecules to
the lengthening protein chain.

Cytoskeleton: As its name implies, the cytoskeleton helps to maintain cell shape. But the primary
importance of the cytoskeleton is in cell motility. The internal movement of cell organelles, as
well as cell locomotion and muscle fiber contraction could not take place without the
cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is an organized network of three primary protein filaments:

- microtubules
- actin filaments (microfilaments)
- intermediate fibers

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The most vital plant cell structure


and function is the preparation of
food with the aid of plastids
which what makes it a unique
eukaryotic cell type.

%: The cell nucleus is


supposed to be the most important
plant cell organelle. It carries the
genetic information present in this
organelle which inherits the
physical traits from one
generation to another. It has a
dark stained nucleolus mainly
responsible for protein formation.
Apart from this, the nucleus
coordinates all the cell functions and regulates the metabolism of plants. The passage of food and
water and the influx of nutrients in and out of the cells are some of the characteristic functions of
a plant cell.

%1 * : As the name indicates, this membranous sheath surrounding the nucleus
protects it from physical damage. You can go through the nuclear membrane function for better
understanding.


- : As seen from this plant cell model, the cytoplasm of a cell is the ground substance
or the matrix which is jelly like material in which all the cell organelles are embedded and
suspended. The main cytoplasm function in a cell is to keep all the cell constituents intact.

1 * : Similar to a nuclear membrane, the main cell membrane function is to give the
cell an appropriate shape and size. This thin membrane is made up of cellulosic fibers and
proteins and its main function is transport of materials through cells.

5: The cell wall is a distinguishing plant cell part which is not present in animals and
mainly responsible for imparting rigidity to the cells. The cell wall material differs with plant
species and gives a definite plant cell shape (elongated, oval, round, rectangular, squarish).


": Another peculiar organelle present in plant cells are the plastids. As mentioned before,
plants prepare their own food with a unique process called photosynthesis with the aid of these
plastids. The plastids consist of pigments which absorb light and make food. The most common
plastid is chloroplast containing the green pigment chlorophyll.

1
$ " : Mitochondria are among the largest cell organelles also known as the engine
house or the energy house of the cells. These organelles provide the energy required for all the
cellular activities by breaking down complex carbohydrates prepared during photosynthesis
(glucose to energy).

0 * : Ribosomes is the main site for protein synthesis since these are rich in ribonucleic
acids. These organelles could be bound to the endoplasmic reticulum or free floating in the
cytoplasm.

2 "- 0
 20: The plant cell model clearly suggests ER to be the second
largest cell organelle after mitochondria since these form a series of interconnecting flattened
tubular tunnels or sacs; rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and smooth endoplasmic reticulum
(SER). The RER is mainly responsible for holding onto the proteins formed in the ribosomes,
and transportation.

:  --
: The proteins formed and bound by the ER need to be processed so as to
perform normal functions. Golgi membranous sacs or =  chiefly associated with ER
release protein chains after processing them.

8: Plant cells are characterized by larger and lesser number of vacuoles and mainly
responsible for maintaining the fullness of a cell. An alternative function of these is to store ions,
sugars and secondary metabolites.

I hope this article on plant cell structure and function has given you the gist of the plant cell
functions and parts. You will understand better with the help of the above labeled diagram.
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| The   *  is located around the outside of the cell. It is a -
  - "* . The hydrophilic heads
of the lipids point outwards while the hydrophobic tails occupy the space between the two lipid layers. Several types
of proteins are imbedded in the membrane: channel, transport, recognition, receptor, and electron transfer. $ 
-
  provide passageways through the membrane for small substances to diffuse through. # -
-
 
are involved in the active transport of substances across the membrane. 0
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  recognize other cells.
0-
-
  are receptor sites for hormones and other chemicals. 2
 
 +-
  are involved in
the transfer of electrons in processes like photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Because the proteins constantly
shift throughout the cell membrane, it is referred to as a + "   ". The functions of the cell membrane
include: holding cellular material, regulating the movement of materials across the membrane, providing a surface
for many chemical reactions, and identifying the cell to the body's immune system.

| = 
  connect one cell to another. :-= 
  are found in animals and are very, very small channels
that allow various ions and other small substances to pass from one cell to another. # $
= 
  are seals around
cells to prevent leakage. They are important for containing liquids like stomach acids. 3   are spot welds
that hold cells together.

| The  controls the cell's activities and contains all the genetic material (46 chromosomes in humans).

| The  is involved in the synthesis of ribosomal RNA. It is a dark body inside the nucleus.

| The   *  keeps DNA inside the nucleus but allows mRNA and proteins through. It is a double
membrane with large pores.
| 0 *  assemble proteins from RNA codes. They are found free-floating in the 
- throughout the cell
or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum.

| The  
$ "- 
 is a series of long canals running throughout the cell. It detoxifies the cell
and converts foodstuffs.

| The $ "- 


 is a series of long canals running throughout the cell with ribosomes attached.
It transports proteins to the golgi bodies for packaging.

| : *"  (also apparatus or complex) store and package cellular secretions for export out of the cell (usually
through the use of vacuoles). Salivary, oil, and digestive glands have very active golgi bodies.

| '  digest and remove worn out cell organelles. In essence, they are vacuoles filled with digestive
enzymes.

| 1
$ "  produce most of the cell's energy. They are composed of two membranes (an outer and a folded
inner membrane) and are common in muscle cells.

| 
  anchor - "+ * during cell division. They are composed of 
* and are only found in
animal cells.

| The cell's 
7
 provides the cell with shape and support. It is involved in cell movement (cytoplasmic
streaming, muscle contraction, ameboid movement, and cell division). The cytoskeleton is composed of 

+  
,
 " 
+  
, and microtubules.

| 8 are "bubbles" of material in the cell. Usually vacuoles hold water. They can, however, hold solutions
and solid material as well.

| Some cells have )  to aid in movement or absorption\\

Plant cells have all of the same organelles as animal cells except:

|Y Plant cells don't have centrioles.

|Y Plant cells have another kind of cell junction called - " 
.

|Y Plants have -


 that store starch, oil, or protein.

|Y Plants have $-


 that are active in photosynthesis. Chloroplasts have a double membrane and
contain $-$.

|Y Plants have 4 made of cellulose in addition to cell membranes. (Note: bacteria have cell walls
made of --
" and fungi have cell walls made of $
)

|Y Water vacuoles in plants are much larger and support much of the cell.
c   



Y
Internal Structure: Bacteria have a very simple internal structure, and no membrane-bound
organelles.

1(YY Y
  Y
YY   Y
 YYY
 Y  Y

 Y $YY Y YY Y   YYYY
YY
 Y

YY Y YY Y
Y  Y

. Y Y Y


 YY
  Y Y  Y   
YY

Y
  Y$Y  Y Y Y YY
 Y  
Y
Y  Y
Y  Y Y Y
YY
  Y Y  
Y   YY   Y.1(YY Y

YY  Y " 
Y  Y

YY1 Y Y   Y Y Y YY Y


 Y
storage Y YYY
 YY  YYY Y
 Y
granules YY  Y

YY< Y
  Y YYYY Y
 Y  YY  YYYY    Y Y Y
 Y
  Y 0  Y>
Y Y 0 YY  Y Y Y
   YY
  Y Y Y  Y

Back to Diagram

Surface Structure: Beginning from the outermost structure and moving inward, bacteria have
some or all of the following structures:

$Y  YY

  Y  Y Y


Y Y

  Y
Y YY Y 
  YY  
Y
  Y

 Y

 YY  Y Y Y  Y  Y 
YY YY

 Y

 Y YY$YY  YYYY Y   Y


  Y
   YY YY Y
YY

  Y!%<YY  Y
  Y!%<Y
Y,
Y YYY Y Y YYYYYY Y
 Y
  Y

 YY 


Y

  Y?Y Y Y


Y
 Y  Y Y  Y  YY Y
  Y
 Y$ Y Y
 Y  YY
  Y  Y


Y 
Y
Y
cell wall
  Y YY  Y 
  Y  Y
  Y Y  Y
Y
Y Y Y   Y  YY  Y  Y

YY$Y
 Y
  YYYYY Y
  
Y 
  Y Y  YY Y Y   Y Y  Y   Y

YY   Y Y   Y
   Y#Y Y
Y  Y 0 Y Y Y
 Y Y Y Y Y Y YY Y
 Y

$YY YY  Y


Y Y Y
 
Y  Y   Y
  Y Y Y
 Y$  Y  Y Y YYYYY
   YY Y  Y Y  Y Y  YY YYY
 Y Y  Y
Y Y   Y

Back to Diagram

Appendages: Bacteria may have the following appendages:

$  YY  Y


 Y  YY Y Y
  YY 
Y
Y Y
 Y(Y
 0 YY Y ,YY Y Y  YY
Y
 Y1(YY Y
  Y
YY   Y%Y YY  Y Y

 Y Y Y  Y

$ Y YY   Y Y  YY Y/   Y  YY


   Y
Y  YY YY Y&&Y
 Y8Y Y Y
   Y

 
Y   Y;
  Y Y  Y Y Y YY Y   Y
Y  YYY Y
 Y

Y
Y