This basic structure of a plant cell is shown below – the same plant cell, as viewed with the light microscope, and with the transmission electron microscope.
Animal and plant cells have certain structures in common.
|Cytoplasm||A jelly-like material that contains dissolved nutrients and salts and structures called organelles. It is where many of the chemical reactions happen.|
|Nucleus||Contains genetic material, including DNA, which controls the cell’s activities.|
|Cell membrane||Its structure is permeable to some substances but not to others. It therefore controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell.|
|Mitochondria||Organelles that contain the enzymes for respiration, and where most energy is released in respiration.|
|Ribosomes||A tiny organelle where protein synthesis occurs.|
Plant cells also have additional structures:
|Chloroplast||Organelles that contains the green pigment, chlorophyll, which absorbs light energy for photosynthesis. Contains the enzymes needed for photosynthesis.|
|Cell wall||Made from cellulose fibres and strengthens the cell and supports the plant.|
|Permanent vacuole||Filled with cell sap to help keep the cell turgid.|
Animal cells may also have vacuoles, but these are small and temporary. In animals, they are commonly used to store or transport substances.