Plant Cells

Plant cells are eukaryotic cells that differ in several key respects from the cells of other eukaryotic organisms. Their distinctive features include: * A large central vacuole, a sap-filled volume enclosed by a membrane known as the tonoplast maintains the cell's turgor, controls movement of molecules between the cytosol and sap, stores useful material and digests waste proteins and organelles. * A cell wall composed of cellulose and hemicellulose, pectin and in many cases lignin, and secreted by the protoplast on the outside of the cell membrane. This contrasts with the cell walls of fungi (which are made of chitin), and of bacteria, which are made of peptidoglycan. * Specialised cell-cell communication pathways known as plasmodesmata, pores in the primary cell wall through which the plasmalemma and endoplasmic reticulum of adjacent cells are continuous. * Plastids, notably the chloroplasts which contain chlorophyll and the biochemical systems for light harvesting and photosynthesis, but also amyloplasts specialized for starch storage, elaioplasts specialized for fat storage and chromoplasts specialized for synthesis and storage of pigments. As in mitochondria, which have a genome encoding 37 genes plastids have their own genomes of about 100-120 unique genes and probably arose as prokaryotic endosymbionts living in the cells of an early eukaryotic ancestor of the land plants and algae. * Cell division by construction of a phragmoplast as a template for building a cell plate late in cytokinesis is characteristic of land plants and a few groups of algae, notably the Charophytes and the Order Trentepohliales * The sperm of Bryophytes have flagellae similar to those in animals, but higher plants, (including Gymnosperms and flowering plants) lack the flagellae and centriolesthat are present in animal cells.

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Channels: Cell Biology

Tags: Plant Cells

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