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You may already know that plant and animal cells are both different and similar in some ways. They are both types of cells called Eukaryotic Cells, which means they share some basic parts. These parts include a protective outer layer, a control center called the nucleus, a jelly-like substance called cytoplasm, tiny factories called Ribosomes, and powerhouses called Mitochondria.
However, there are some important Differences Between Plant and Animal Cells. One of the biggest differences is that plant cells have things like sturdy walls, large storage sacs called vacuoles, and green structures called chloroplasts, which help them make food through photosynthesis. Animal cells, on the other hand, don’t have these features.
In this article, we’ll explore the definitions, differences, and more details about plant and animal cells to help you understand them better.
Definition of Plant Cell
The Plant Kingdom mostly consists of many-celled living things that make their own food. Plant cells have special parts like chloroplasts, cell walls, and vacuoles that make them different from animal cells. There are lots of plant types we haven’t found yet, but we know about around 400,000 of them.
Plant Cells are usually between 10 and 100 µm in size. They do photosynthesis, which means they turn sunlight into food. That’s why we call green plants “autotrophs.” They can do this because they have chlorophyll in their chloroplasts. The cell wall, made of cellulose, gives plant cells support and strength.
Functions of Plant Cell
Plant Cells are the basic building blocks of plants and they handle all the essential functions for the plant’s survival. Photosynthesis is the process where plants convert sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water into food, and it takes place in tiny parts of the cell called Chloroplasts. Here are some different types of specialized plant cells:
- Collenchyma Cells: These are long, living cells with uneven thick walls. They can change their shape and grow as the plant grows. Collenchyma cells are flexible, meaning they can stretch to support the plant’s growth.
- Sclerenchyma Cells: These cells are tougher and provide support in parts of the plant that have stopped growing. Mature sclerenchyma cells are often dead and have thick walls. They contain a lot of cellulose and help give structure to the plant.
- Parenchyma Cells: These are simple, permanent cells that make up most of the plant’s tissues, like the soft part of leaves and fruit. They play a role in photosynthesis, respiration, and other metabolic processes. They also store substances like carbohydrates and proteins and assist in plant healing.
- Xylem Cells: These cells help transport water and nutrients within the plant. They include tracheids, vessels, xylem parenchyma, and xylem fibers. The xylem moves water and minerals from the plant’s roots to its leaves.
- Phloem Cells: Phloem cells distribute nutrients, like sugars and amino acids, produced during photosynthesis to all parts of the plant. They transport these nutrients from the leaves to the roots.
Definition of Animal Cell
The Animal Kingdom includes three-fourths of all Earth’s species. In the human body, we have around 10^14 cells, and they range in size from 10 to 30 micrometers. Unlike plant cells, Animal Cells lack a cell wall and chloroplasts. The key difference between animal and plant cells is that animal cells can’t make their own food. Most animal cells have three main parts: the nucleus, cell membrane, and cytoplasm.
Some people believe that as cells evolved, the cell walls disappeared, leading to more advanced animal cells, tissues, and specialized organs. These changes helped animals develop abilities like moving with muscles and nerves and performing various functions.
Function of Animal Cell
All the tiny parts in our body work together to help us stay alive. Some of these parts join up to make bigger parts like the heart, lungs, and more. These bigger parts team up to make systems like the nervous system, digestive system, and others.
There are a few kinds of animal cells:
- Skin Cells – These cells are in the layers of our skin. They stop water from escaping and keep things out.
- Bone Cells – These cells build our skeletons and talk to each other to keep our bones strong and working well. They also help us move.
- Muscle Cells – These cells protect our organs and help us move our arms and legs.
- Blood Cells – These cells are like tiny delivery trucks in our body. They carry stuff like hormones and oxygen all around.
- Nerve Cells – These special cells send messages in our body. They have a big part called the cell body with a nucleus, a long part called an axon, and many small branches called dendrites. These cells help our brains send and receive messages.
Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell
|A plant cell is surrounded by a rigid cell wall.
|An animal cell does not have a cell wall.
|Presence of a large vacuole is seen in plant cells.
|Whereas there are very small vacuoles as compared to plant cells are seen in animal cells.
|Larger in size.
|Smaller in size.
|Plant cells have plastids.
|Animal cells do not have plastids.
|Centrosomes are absent in plant cells
|Animal cells have centrosomes.
|Plant cells do not have cilia.
|Animal cells have cilia.
|Lysosomes are very rare in plant cells.
|Animal cells have lysosomes.
Difference Between Plant cell and Animal Cell for Class 9
Plant Cells and Animal Cells have several key differences, which are important to understand. Here are the main differences between plant cells and animal cells for a class 9 level explanation:
- Plant Cell: Plant cells have a rigid cell wall made of cellulose outside the cell membrane. The cell wall provides structural support and protection.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells do not have a cell wall. They are surrounded by a flexible cell membrane only.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells are usually rectangular or box-like in shape due to the rigid cell wall.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells have various shapes, often round, irregular, or oval.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells have a large central vacuole that stores water, nutrients, and waste products.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells have smaller and sometimes multiple vacuoles, but they are not as prominent as in plant cells.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells contain chloroplasts, which are responsible for photosynthesis, enabling them to produce their food.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells lack chloroplasts and cannot perform photosynthesis.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells may have lysosomes, but they are not as common as in animal cells.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells typically contain lysosomes, which are responsible for cellular waste digestion and recycling.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells are stationary and do not move.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells can be part of tissues and organs that enable movement.
- Plant Cell: Plant cells lack centrioles, which are involved in cell division.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells have centrioles, aiding in cell division.
- Plant Cell: Plastids, such as chloroplasts and chromoplasts, are present in plant cells.
- Animal Cell: Animal cells do not contain plastids.
Cilia and Flagella
- Plant Cell: Plant cells do not have cilia or flagella for movement.
- Animal Cell: Some animal cells, like those in the respiratory tract, may have cilia or flagella to facilitate movement.
FAQs on Difference Between Plant Cell & Animal Cell
What is the Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell?
The main differences between plant cells and animal cells are the presence of a rigid cell wall, chloroplasts for photosynthesis, and a large central vacuole in plant cells, while animal cells lack these structures and have a more flexible cell membrane. Plant cells are typically rectangular, while animal cells have various shapes.
What are 5 Major Differences Between Plant and Animal Cells?
Cell Wall: Plant cells have a rigid cell wall made of cellulose, while animal cells lack a cell wall. Chloroplasts: Plant cells contain chloroplasts for photosynthesis; animal cells do not have chloroplasts. Large Central Vacuole: Plant cells have a large central vacuole for storage, whereas animal cells have smaller vacuoles. Shape: Plant cells are often rectangular or box-like, while animal cells have various shapes. Mobility Structures: Animal cells may have cilia or flagella for movement, while plant cells lack these structures.
Which cell organelles are present only in plant cell and absent in animals cell?
Plant cells are different from animal cells because they have something called a 'cell wall' and 'plastids,' which animal cells don't have.
What is the function of vacuoles in a plant cell?
The vacuole in a plant cell stores waste and helps keep the cell strong and in shape as plants grow.