Plant Cell Structure and Function

If you wish to know the plant cell anatomy, then scroll through the plant cell structure and functions given below. This brief info will surely help if you are from a science stream.
We all are well aware of the importance of the cell in controlling the metabolism and other life processes which helps sustain life. The cell is supposed to be the smallest and most important functional unit in all organisms. The plant cell is a type of eukaryotic cell mainly because of the presence of a nucleus and nuclear membrane. Plants are autotrophic in nature owing to a special organelle; chloroplast which helps prepare food in the form of complex carbohydrate. Along with these, there are other essential cell organelles which contribute in the proper working of the cell. If you happen to compare a plant cell with an animal cell, it proves them to be closely similar except that the latter lacks chloroplast and cell wall. A plant cell generally ranges from 10 to 100 micrometers in size.

Plant Cell Diagram
plant cell structure diagram

Nucleus: The cell nucleus is supposed to be the most important 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.

Nuclear Membrane: 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.

Cytoplasm: As seen from the diagram, 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.

Cell Membrane: 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.

Cell Wall: The cell wall is a distinguishing 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 shape (elongated, oval, round, rectangular, squarish).

Plastids: 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.

Mitochondria: 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).

Ribosomes: 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.

Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER): The diagram 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.

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

Vacuoles: 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 has given you the gist of the plant cell functions and parts. You will understand better with the help of the above labeled diagram.
Published: October 27, 2010
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