Similarities and Differences between Plant and Animal Cell Structure/Function

Similarities and Differences between Plant and Animal Cell Structure/Function

Similarities between Plant and Animal Cells

Both plant and animal cells have several common features:

  • Both contain a nucleus that holds the cell’s genetic material (DNA).
  • Both have cytoplasm, a jelly-like substance in which all cell activities occur.
  • Both are surrounded by a cell membrane, which controls the movement of substances into and out of the cell.
  • They both contain mitochondria for energy production via respiration.
  • Both cell types have ribosomes, the site for protein synthesis.
  • Both have a system of endoplasmic reticulum for protein and fat assembly and transportation.
  • They do also contain small amounts of golgi apparatus which helps in processing and packaging proteins before they leave the cell.
  • Both also have lysosomes that help break down waste materials and cellular debris.

Differences between Plant and Animal Cells

Plant and animal cells also have some key differences including:

  • Plant cells have a rigid cell wall made of cellulose which provides structural support, while animal cells do not.
  • Plant cells contain chloroplasts, necessary for photosynthesis, which are not found in animal cells.
  • Animal cells can change shape due to the lack of a rigid cell wall, while plant cells are mostly rigid and fixed.
  • The plasma membrane in animal cells can form inward-bound folds, known as caveolae, not found in plant cells.
  • Animal cells may have one or more small vacuoles whereas a plant cell has one large central vacuole that can occupy up to 90% of the cell’s volume.
  • Centrioles involved in cell division are present in most animal cells, but most plant cells do not have centrioles.

Remember, understanding the structure and function of cells is vital for your understanding of all biological processes. They form the foundation and set the stage where biochemical reactions take place, facilitating life as we know it.