Plant Cell

Plant Cell – Parts, Functions & Structure of Plant Cells

A cell is the basic unit of life in all organisms. Plants are also composed of infinite cells like animals and human beings. The plant cell is surrounded by a cell wall which is responsible for providing shape to the plant cell. Different cellular activities are associated with cell walls and other organelles. To have a better understanding of the same, let us take a detailed look at the plant cell, its structure, and functions of different plant cell organelles.

What is a Plant Cell? 

Plant Cells can be defined as the eukaryotic cells with a true nucleus along with specialized structures called organelles that carry out certain specific functions.

What are the Bifurcations of a Plant Cell?

To understand the different parts of a plant cell, we need to have a look at its diagram as given below –
(Image uploaded in the folder)

Plant Cell Structure

Just like different organs within the body, plant cell structure includes various components known as cell organelles that perform different functions to sustain itself.  These organelles include:

Cell Wall

Plant Cell wall is a tough layer which is made up of cellulose, glycoproteins, lignin, pectin, and hemicellulose located outside the cell membrane. The plant cell wall comprises proteins, polysaccharides, and cellulose.
The primary function of the cell wall is to protect and provide structural support to the cell as well as protecting the cell against mechanical stress and to provide form and structure to the cell. The cell wall also filters the molecules passing in and out of the cell.
The formation of the cell wall is guided by microtubules which consists of three layers, namely, primary, secondary and the middle lamella. The primary cell wall is made up of cellulose laid down by enzymes.

Cell Membrane

Cell membrane is a semi-permeable membrane that is present within the cell wall and made up of a thin layer of protein and fat. It plays an important role in regulating the entry and exit of specific substances within the cell.

Nucleus

The nucleus is a membrane based organelle that is found in eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotes generally have a single nucleus, but a few cell types, such as mammalian red blood cells, have no nuclei, and a few others including osteoclasts have many.

  • Nucleolus: It helps in producing cell’s protein-manufacturing structures and ribosomes.
  • Nucleopore: Nuclear membrane is penetrated with holes called nucleopore that allows proteins and nucleic acids to pass through.

Plastids

Plastids are double-membrane organelles that are found in the cells of plants and algae. These plastids play a vital role in manufacturing food and storing it. Plastids often contain pigments that are often used in the process of photosynthesis. These pigments can also change the color of the cell.

Below are Some of the Important Plastids and their Function – 

Leucoplasts

Leucoplasts are found in non-photosynthetic tissues of plants which are used for the storage of protein, lipid, and starch.

Chloroplasts

Chloroplasts are an elongated organelle enclosed by phospholipid membrane. The chloroplast is shaped like a disc and the stroma is the fluid within the chloroplast that comprises a circular DNA. Each chloroplast contains a green coloured pigment called chlorophyll which is used in the process of photosynthesis. The chlorophyll absorbs light energy from the sun and then uses it to transform carbon dioxide and water into glucose.

Lets Understand the Function of a Chloroplast with a Diagram Below – 

(Diagram)

Chromoplasts

Chromoplasts are diverse, coloured plastids which are accountable for pigment synthesis and storage in photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. They have red, orange and yellow coloured pigments which provide colour to all the ripe fruits and flowers we see in our day to day lives.

Central Vacuole

The central vacuole is a cellular organelle found in plant cells and is often the largest organelle in the cell. It is surrounded by a membrane and functions to store materials and wastes. It also works to maintain the proper pressure by providing proper structure for the growing plant. It absorbs around 30% of the cell’s volume in a mature plant cell

Golgi Apparatus

Golgi Apparatus also known as Golgi Complex is an organelle found in all eukaryotic cells which are involved in distributing synthesized macromolecules to various parts of the cell.

Ribosomes

Ribosomes are macro-molecular machines that are found in alomost all living cells for the biological protein synthesis. Therefore, the ribosomes are also known as the protein factories of the cell.

Mitochondria

Mitochondria are the double-membraned organelles found in the cytoplasm of all eukaryotic cells which provides energy by breaking down carbohydrate and sugar molecules, hence they are also referred to as the “Powerhouse of the cell.”

Lysosome

Lysosomes are membrane bound cell organelles that contain digestive enzymes and are involved in various cell functions.

What are the Different Types of Plant Cells? 

Plant cells are a type of eukaryotic cell that are found in organisms of the Plant Kingdom. As an organism grows, its cells become mature enough to perform specific functions. There are various types of plant cells namely: parenchyma cells, sclerenchyma cells, collenchyma cells, xylem cells, and phloem cells. Let’s know about the functions of these cells in detail –

  • Parenchyma Cells 

These are the cells which are majorly present in plants. They help in the metabolism and food production of a plant. These cells are very flexible as compared to other cells because of their thinness.

  • Sclerenchyma Cells

Sclerenchyma cells give the maximum support to the plant because of their hardness. These cells are usually found in plant roots and do not live past maturity.

  • Collenchyma Cells

These cells are also hard but not as hard as sclerenchyma cells. They also provide support to the plants when they are young.Their growth takes place with the plant’s growth and stretch.

  • Xylem Cells 

Also known as Water conducting cells are hard cells that bring water up to the leaves. They do not live past maturity but their cell wall continues to allow the water flow freely through the plant.

  • Phloem Cells 

A sugar transporting cell produced by the leaves throughout the plant. These cells live past maturity.

Plant Cell Functions

Photosynthesis is the major function performed by Plant cell and therefore are known as the building blocks of plants. Photosynthesis is the process which occurs in the chloroplasts of the plant cell. It is the process by which plants prepare their food utilizing sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.
 
 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What are Plant Cells?
Ans – Plant Cells can be defined as the eukaryotic cells with a true nucleus along with specialized structures called organelles that carry out certain specific functions
Q2. What is the Function of a Plant Cell?
Ans – Photosynthesis is the major function performed by Plant cell and therefore are known as the building blocks of plants
Q3. What is Nucleus?
Ans – The nucleus is a membrane based organelle that is found in eukaryotic cells.
Q4. What is Photosynthesis?
Ans – Photosynthesis is the process which occurs in the chloroplasts of the plant cell. It is the process by which plants prepare their food utilizing sunlight, water and carbon dioxide
Q5. What are the Types of Plant Cells? 
Ans – There are various types of plant cells namely: parenchyma cells, sclerenchyma cells, collenchyma cells, xylem cells, and phloem cells.

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