Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell - Functions



The cell is the structural and fundamental unit of life. The cells are composed of many or one cells that perform their individual functions. Some of the cell organelles are present in both the plant and animal cell which help them to do the basic cellular activities. But few organelles are unique to the plant cell as well as the animal cell.

The plant and animal cell structures are very much similar because of the presence of eukaryotic cells in both. Each eukaryotic cell consists of a plasma membrane, the nucleus, cytoplasm, ribosome, mitochondria in general.

Plant cell:

Plant cells are a type of eukaryotic cell found in the organism within the plant kingdom. The eukaryotic cell does not contain the nucleus. The plant cell differs from other eukaryotic cells as the organelles present are different. Organelles are the major parts of the cell.

The major difference in the plant cell is that the plant cell contains the rigid cell wall around its cell wall. Other organisms contain the cell wall around their cells, but the plant cell contains the proteins and cellulose. The cell wall provides the cell with the protection and gives the plant its shape and structure.

The plant cell contains the chlorophyll also. The chlorophyll gives the plants their green colour and allows them to perform photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process the plants use to make their own food by using carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.

The plant cells contain large central vacuoles. Vacuoles are larger structures in plant cells as in some other eukaryotes.

Functions of plant cell:

Plant cells are the basic building block of plant life, and they carry out all the functions necessary for survival. Photosynthesis is the process of making food from light energy, carbon dioxide, and water. It occurs in the chloroplasts of the cell.

The cells of a matured plant become specialized to perform certain vital functions that are essential for survival. Following are some of the specialized plant cells:

1. Collenchyma cells:

They are elongated, have thick cell walls, and can change shape and grow as a plant grows.

2. Sclerenchyma cells:

The cells of sclerenchyma cells are more rigid. They are the main supporting cells in the areas of a plant that have ceased growing. These cells are dead and have very thick cell walls.

3. Parenchyma cells:

Most of the cells in plants are Parenchyma They are found in leaves and carry out photosynthesis and cellular respiration, along with the metabolic process. They also store substances like starch and proteins and have a role in plant repair.

4. Xylem cells:

It transports mostly water and a few nutrients throughout the plant, from roots to the stem and leaves.

5. Phloem cells:

It transports nutrients made during photosynthesis to all parts of a plant. They also transport sap, which is a watery solution high in sugars.

Animal cell:

Animal cell is a typical eukaryotic cell with a membrane bound nucleus with the presence of DNA inside the nucleus. Unlike the eukaryotic cells of plants and, animal cells do not have a cell wall. They comprise of other organelles and cellular structures which carry out specific functions necessary for the cell to function properly.

The main difference between the animal and plant cell is that the animal cell is not able to make their own food. There are trillions of cells in the animal body and each one is different depending on the function and type.

Most animal cells have at least three main parts: nucleus, cell membrane, and cytoplasm.

The nucleus of the cell gives direction to the cell. It directs all the activity to the cell. The nucleus can make their cell organelles as needed. The Nucleus is the brain of the cell. The nucleus of the animal cell is bound by membrane.

The cell membrane protects animal cells. They keep the harmful objects out of the cell and allow only helpful objects to enter. It is the guard of the cell.

Cytoplasm fills most of the animal cell. It helps to give the cell shape and keep the organelles in the correct place. When organelles need to transport materials around the cell, this cytoplasm allows the process to occur smoothly. It also helps to break down the cell waste.

Functions of an animal cell:

The cells are highly specialized to carry out the specific tasks. All the cells function together in coordination with each other and help the organism to sustain.

Multiple cells will form the tissues into a group of cells which will help in carrying out the various functions. The group of similar tissues will form the various organs of the body like heart, lungs, etc. and these organs work together to form the organ system like the nervous system, digestive system, circulatory system etc. Depending upon the organism the organ system will vary accordingly.

Some common types of animal cells:

1. Skin cells:

These cells are found in the dermal and epidermal layer, it works in the protection of internal parts, prevents the excess loss of water through dehydration, perception and in the transmission of sensation.

2. Bone cells:

Bone cells are responsible for making skeleton and bones of animals. The primary function of the cell is to provide structural support and helps in the movement of the body.

3. Muscle cells:

It functions for the movement of the body. It also helps in the protection of the delicate organs of the body.

4. Blood cells:

These cells work as the transporter in the body which carry hormones and nutrients. Mainly the blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body and helps in taking back the carbon dioxide. It is also known as hematopoietic cells.

5. Nerve cells:

These are specialized cells, regulated to send impulses or information. These are the signals or messages help the body to connect and perform the function in a manner according to the environment. These signals are sent from the central nervous system and the sensory receptors.

Difference between the plant cell and animal cell:

Both the plant and animal cell contain the membrane-bound organelles like the endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, Lysosomes etc. Likewise, the plant and animal also have similar membranes such as cytosol, and cytoskeletal elements. The functions of these organelles are extremely similar between the two subjects of cells.

The major difference between the structure of plant and animal cells are tabulated below:

Plant cell Animal cell
The Plant cell is larger than the animal cell. The normal range for plant cell stretches from 10 to 100 micrometres.The normal range of an animal cell varies from 10 to 30 micrometres.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The shape of plant cells is fixed rectangular shapeThe shape of the animal cell is mostly round and irregular in shape.

Plant cellAnimal cell
Plant cell store energy as starch. Animal cell store energy in the form of complex carbohydrate and glycogen.

Cell wall:
Plant cellAnimal cell
Plant cells have a cell wall composed of the cell membrane as well as cellulose.Animal cells do not have a cell wall composed of a cell membrane.

Plasma membrane:
Plant cellAnimal cell
A plant cell is enclosed by a hard/rigid cell wall along with the plasma membrane.The animal cell is enclosed by a thin, flexible plasma membrane.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The nucleus is present in the plant cell and lies in one side of the cell.The nucleus is present in the animal cell also but lies in the centre of the cell.

Endoplasmic reticulum:
Plant cell Animal cell
The Endoplasmic reticulum is present.The Endoplasmic reticulum is present in the animal cell also.

Plant cell Animal cell
The lysosomes are present but very rare as the plant vacuole handles molecule degradation.The lysosomes are present. It contains enzymes that digest cellular macromolecules.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The plant cell centrosome is simpler and does not have centrioles and play role in cell division and includes the collection of microtubules.In animal cell centrosome is present. It plays the role in cell division and includes a collection of microtubules.

Golgi apparatus:
Plant cellAnimal cell
The plant cell can contain as many as several hundred smaller versions. The major function of the Golgi apparatus is the modifying, sorting, and packaging of proteins for secretion. Animal cells tend to have larger and fewer Golgi apparatus. The function of the Golgi apparatus is to process and bundle macromolecules like proteins and lipids as they are synthesized within the cell.

Plant cellAnimal cell
Cytoplasm is present in the plant cell. It is a jelly- like fluid that fills a cell is called the cytoplasm. It is made of mostly water and salt. The cytoplasm is present within the cell membrane and contains all organelles and cell partsCytoplasm is present in the animal cell also. It functions like the same in the plant cell.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The Ribosome is present in the plant cell. It is the protein builders of the cell. The ribosome in a plant cell is found in the cytoplasm, the surface of the rough endoplasmic reticulum, the mitochondria and on chloroplasts.Ribosome present in the animal cell also. Ribosome might be floating in the cytosol or within the cytoplasm or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum. Those floating ribosome in the animal cell make proteins that will be used inside of the cell.

Plant cellAnimal cell
Plastids are present in the plant cell. Plastids are double membrane sac-like organelles, generally involved in either the manufacture or storage of food. (which are needed for Photosynthesis)Plastids are absent in an animal cell.

Essential Nutrients:
Plant cellAnimal cell
The plant cell can synthesize the amino acids, vitamins and, coenzymes which are required by the plant.The animal cell cannot synthesize the amino acids, vitamins and, coenzymes which are required by animals.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The vacuoles in plant cells prone to be very large and are extremely important in providing structural support, as well as serving functions like waste disposal, protection, storage, and growth.In an animal cell, the vacuoles are generally small.

Plant cellAnimal cell
Cilia are not found in the plant cell.Cilia are found in the animal cell. Cilia are microtubules that aid in cellular locomotion.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The mitochondria are present in plant cell and are fewerThe mitochondria are present in the animal cell and are numerous.

Plant cellAnimal cell
Plant cell mainly increases cell size by becoming larger. They grow by absorbing more water into the central vacuole.Animal cell increase in size by increasing in cell numbers.

Plant cellAnimal cell
The chloroplast is present in the plant cell.The chloroplast is not present in an animal cell.

Plant cell and animal cell share many similarities because they both are eukaryotic cells. The similarities between the animal cell and plant cell have maintained themselves throughout the process of evolution and history. Because the circumstances each cell type faced were similar and needed similar tools.

Plant cells have certain distinguishing features, including chloroplasts, cell walls, and vacuoles. Photosynthesis takes place in chloroplasts, cell wall allows plants to have strong, upright structures, and vacuoles help regulate how cells handle water and storage of other molecules.

Animal cell and plant cell differ significantly. The structure of a plant and animal cell depends on how it maintains its constant internal environment. Plants and animals evolved different ways of obtaining energy and therefore their cells also differ.

All eukaryotic cells whether it is a plant cell or animal cell contain the nucleus and few organelles in common along with the similarities in their function except the few. The reason for the difference is that the plants are said to be autotrophs and animals are said as heterotrophs.