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Topic 2.1
Are the basic structural and functional

Cells The Building Blocks

of Life
units of life

Cells Cell Structure

The living
Cells can exist:
Singly as independent unicellular
Protoplasm matter of cells
As part of multicellular organisms Consists of:
• Such cells are modified for specific functions Nucleus


Cell surface

Cell Structure Cell Structure

The control The control
Nucleus centre Nucleus centre
•Nuclear envelope

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Cell Structure Cell Structure

What about The control
Nucleus chromosomes? Nucleus centre
•Control centre for cell’s activities
•Control cell division
•Contains genetic material

Cell Structure Cell Structure

Cytoplasm The laboratory Membranes

- Partially permeable and made up of lipids & proteins.
• Colloidal (glue-like); - Lipid bilayer allows small substances like water,
• Mainly water with salts & sugars carbon dioxide and oxygen to pass through.
• Larger molecules of fats &
• Endless chemical reactions
taking place
• With many small structures
called organelles

Cell Structure Cell Structure

Membranes Membranes
- Larger, polar molecules are not able to pass 1. Provides a
through, and would require a “channel” to enter/exit. boundary:
a. Constant internal
b. Allows for
2. Presence of proteins
embedded in the

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Cell Structure Cell Structure

Tiny structures in
Organelles the cytoplasm Vacuoles Fluid-filled spaces
enclosed by a membrane
• Fluid is watery and non-
mitochondrion chloroplast protoplasmic
• These structures perform specialised functions
essential for the normal cell functioning • Animal cells: Many small
vacuoles, usually temporary
The most obvious: Nucleus • May contain water and food

Cell Structure Cell Structure

Vacuoles Fluid-filled spaces

enclosed by a membrane Vacuoles Fluid-filled spaces
enclosed by a membrane
• Plant cells: Usually contains Functions:
a single large central • Keep the cytoplasm
vacuole enclosed by a concentration constant
membrane called the • Collect & remove waste products
tonoplast • Act as food reserves
• Give turgidity & support to cells
• Cell sap contains water and
dissolved food substances

Cell Structure Mitochondrion

Mitochondria of the cell
• Involved in the release of energy
from food substances during
• Energy released temporarily in
small molecules called ATP
• ATP can be transported to parts
of the cell that require energy

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What is… Cell Structure
Nuclear Pore

ATP Adenosine Triphosphate Nucleus

• Nucleolus: Involved in the
• The batteries of the cell synthesis of material for the
• When required, they can ribosomes.
be broken down to • Information in DNA contains
release energy instructions for making
Energy proteins.
• Energy may be used to • This information must be
perform activities “copied” and the copies are
essential to life moved out of the nucleus
through the nuclear pores.

Cell Structure
Protein synthesis endoplasmic
• Joining amino acids
• Occurs at the
ribosomes Ribosome
• These are found in
the cytoplasm or
attached to the

Fig 2.2 Structure of a generalized plant cell For plants only…

Organelles Chloroplasts
• Chloroplasts:
2 membranes
Stores starch

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For plants only… Some differences…

Cell Wall & Middle Lamella Plant cell Animal cell
Have cell wall enclosing No cell wall
Cell Wall:
the protoplasm
• Non-living
Have chloroplasts for No chloroplasts
• Fully permeable
• Rigid: Gives shape and photosynthesis
support to the cells Have large single Only have numerous
• Mainly made up of cellulose vacuole small temporary
Middle Lamella:
• Thin cementing material Store excess food as Store as glycogen
between adjacent cells starch grains
• Fully permeable

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