About Plant Cells


Both plants and animals are made up of very small cells, which are enclosed membranes that contain cytoplasm and a variety of organelles that engage in processes necessary for every action that the plant engages in. What makes plant cells different from animal cells is that they have cell walls and a special glue that makes skeletal support unnecessary.


The cell wall of the plant is rigid. These cell walls are held together by a substance called pectic polysaccharides, which are made out of carbohydrates. These cell walls are filled with pores that both make it possible to have plant cell walls close together and also make it possible for gases, water and nutrients to pass from cell wall to cell wall.


Some of the pores contain plasmodesmata used for the creation of a special type of communication between the plant cells called cytoplasmic connection, according to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John. The plasmodesmata connects the cell walls together so well that an object could pass from one end of the plant to another without ever leaving the plant cells.


Inside the cell wall of the plant is the protoplast. This is made up of the cytosol, which is where all of the other components of the cell wall are located. According to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John, inside this cytosol is the nucleus, which is basically the brain of the cell that determines everything that the plant cell does, just like the nucleus of an animal cell. Within the cell is a vacuole, which is a membrane where the resources of the cell are stored. There are also assorted organelles that serve a variety of different functions within the plant cell.


The plasmodesmata is 40 to 50 nanometers in diameter. Only objects that are 1.5 to 2 nanometers in diameter can pass through the plasmodesmata, according to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John.


According to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John, the plant cell is filled with cytoplasm, which is a substance in which all of the contents of the plant cell float. The nucleus is the part of the plant cell that contains the DNA that provides instructions to the plant cell on how to function. Mitochondria are responsible for plant respiration, which transforms sugars into energy for the plant. The endoplasmic reticulum synthesizes proteins and lipids. The peroxisomes handle waste products in the plant cell. The golgi apparatus is responsible for the plant cells that release secretion and microtubules that handle cell movement and cell division. Several organelles also are designed for providing support or added movement to the plant cell, depending on the species of the plant.

Keywords: cell walls, plant cells, plant respiration

About this Author

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer for two years. He has a B.S. in Literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written three ebooks so far: Karate You Can Teach Your Kids, Macadamia Growing Handout and The Raw Food Diet.