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Andrew Paterson

! Describe the structure of a eukaryotic plant cell. Indicate the ways in which a non photosynthetic prokaryotic cell would differ in structure from this generalized eukaryotic plant cell. !

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The basic eukaryotic plant cell follows a specific pattern in its structure, and that

structure differs from a non-photosynthetic prokaryotic cell in a number of ways. Both cells are designed to carry out different tasks, and differ in complexity and size. The differences in structure between a basic plant cell and a non-photosynthetic prokaryotic cell can be seen on their surfaces and interiors. Some of the most obvious differences can be seen even from a distance.! ! Plant cells are around ten times larger than a prokaryotic cell. Because plant

cells carry out more complex functions, they are larger than the simple prokaryotic cells. Plant cells are also shaped differently than prokaryotic cells. Plant cells are designed to link and function with other plant cells as one organism. To facilitate this joining, plant cells tend to be angular in shape. Because the straight angles leave no space between cells, plants are able to form strong bonds. Prokaryotic cells are rounded, and are not meant to join with other cells. The shape and size of the two cells is only part of their differences, and they continue inside the cells. ! ! Prokaryotic cells contain a very simple interior structure. Plant cells, however,

contain several organelles, which each carry out a specific job. Plant cells contain a nucleus, which houses the genetic material for the cell. This is where the DNA is stored, and replicated when the cell splits. The nucleus, like almost all other organelles, is surrounded by its own membrane. The DNA in a prokaryotic cell is not housed in a membrane. Prokaryotic cells have no nucleus, but instead their DNA is grouped together in the cell. Both plant and prokaryotic cells have ribosomes, which create the

Andrew Paterson

proteins in the cells. Ribosomes do not have a membrane, and are dotted throughout the cytoplasm. In plant cells, the ribosomes are also embedded on the surface of the nucleus and the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Prokaryotic cells and plant cells both have a plasma membrane and tough cell wall.! ! Plant cells have several other organelles, such as the centrosome, Golgi

apparatus, central vacuole, cytoskeleton, mitochondrion, and peroxisome. All of these organelles help to maintain order in the cell, and to help the cell function. One of the organelles that really differentiates plant cells is their chloroplasts. The chloroplasts convert water, oxygen, carbon dioxide and sunlight into glucose. The nonphotosynthetic prokaryotic cell has none of these organelles. The prokaryotic cell can however have flagella or cilia. Both of these organelles allow the cell to move around, and plant cells do not have them. Plant cells and prokaryotic cells are similar in some ways, but are different in many ways.!