Cell Biology

animalcell     plantcell

Basics
Cell
Smallest (usually microscopic) structural unit of matter capable of performing the fundamental functions of life.

Organelle
Specialized structures for carrying out one or more vital cellular functions.
Animal and plant cells have many organelles in common, but there are also differences.

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Organelles Common to Both Animal and Plant Cells

Cell Membrane
Surrounds cytoplasm (substance in which organelles, other than the nucleus, function) and regulates movement of molecular material in and out of cell.  Also called the plasma membrane in animals and the plasmalemma in plants.

Nucleus
Most prominent part of cell, housing genetic material in organized structures known as chromosomes.  The nucleus is essential for reproduction from DNA and protein synthesis from RNA.  The nucleolus is a spherical region in the nucleus where RNA is transcribed into proteins.  The nuclear membrane separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm.

Endoplasmic Reticulum
Rough endoplasmic reticulum is associated with ribosomes for the purpose of protein production.  Smooth endoplasmic reticulum regulates calcium and is not associated with ribosomes.

Mitochondria
Powerhouses where energy is generated.

Golgi body
Packages protein and lipids (fats).

Vacuole
Contain waste matter.  Store a lot of water in plant cells.


Organelles Found Mostly in Animal Cells
Centrosome
Contain centrioles, which aid in cell division.

Lysosome
Contain enzymes that break down waste matter.


Organelles Found Only in Plant Cells

Cell Wall
Rigid structure outside cell membrane that protects plant cell.

Chloroplast
A type of plastid.  Use green-pigmented chlorophyll to harness energy from sunlight to produce glucose (used as plant food) in a process known as photosynthesis.

Amyloplast
Non-pigmented organelles found in some plant cells for the purpose of making and storing starch.

Comparison Animal Cell Plant Cell
Size Smaller Larger
Shape Round, Changeable Rectangular, Unchangeable
Cell Membrane Yes Yes
Cell Wall No Yes
Vacuole Many small. One large.
Centriole Yes Not always.
Lysosome Yes Not always.
Chloroplast No Yes
Amyloplast No Yes
Photosynthesis No Yes


Practice – Questions

1.  The cell is the smallest structural unit of matter capable of performing the fundamental functions of:
A.  social studies
B.  science
C.  death
D.  life

2.  A specialized structure for carrying out one or more vital cellular functions is called an:
A.  organ
B.  outlier
C.  organelle
D.  ameba

3.  A plant cell doesn’t always include a:
A.  cell membrane
B.  lysosome
C.  nucleus
D.  Golgi body

4.  A plant cell includes a:
A.  cell wall
B.  planet
C.  galaxy
D.  comet

5.  An animal cell includes a:
A.  chloroplast
B.  bevy of vacuoles
C.  amyloplast
D.  cell wall


Practice – Answers

1.  D.  life

2.  C.  organelle

3.  B.  lysosome

4.  A.  cell wall

5.  B.  bevy of vacuoles

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