Plant Cell Structure

Plant Cell Structure

The Basic Structure of Plant Cells

  • Plant cells are eukaryotic cells, meaning their genetic material is enclosed within a nucleus.
  • The plant cell is enclosed by a rigid cell wall which is primarily composed of cellulose.
  • Inside the cell wall is the cell membrane, a selectively permeable barrier that controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell.
  • Contained within the cell is a dense and semi-fluid substance called cytoplasm, which houses the organelles of the cell.

Key Components of Plant Cells

The Nucleus

  • Contains the genetic material of the cell (DNA) organised into chromosomes.
  • Responsible for controlling the activities of the cell.


  • The site of respiration where ATP is produced.
  • Often referred to as the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell due to the production of energy.


  • This is where photosynthesis occurs in a plant cell.
  • Chlorophyll present in chloroplasts captures light energy needed for the process.


  • Large sacs filled with cell sap, including water, sugars, ions, and waste products.
  • They help to maintain turgidity and provide storage for various compounds.

Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus

  • They play a crucial role in the production, processing, and transport of proteins and lipids.


  • Synthesise proteins from amino acids.
  • They can be free in the cytoplasm or attached to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Unique features of Plant Cells

  • Plant cells have a large central vacuole that stores water and helps to maintain turgor pressure.
  • Plant cells have chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place.
  • Plant cells have a rigid cell wall made of cellulose that provides structure and prevents the cell from bursting when it takes in water.