As more techniques are developed in Cell Biology, we know more about the great mysteries and secrets that the cells enclose. Knowing plant and animal cells is very important to understand the functioning of living beings, understand the diseases they suffer, develop therapeutic techniques against these diseases or obtain products of commercial interest.
It is also important to understand the similarity and difference between animal and plant cells . In this lorecentral.org article we tell you.
What is a cell
The cell is the morphological and functional unit of all living beings , with the capacity to reproduce, grow, metabolize, interact with other cells and capture signals from the extracellular environment or to program their own death. A living being can have a single cell and be unicellular, as is the case of bacteria, or have multiple cells and be multi cellular, as is the case of animals and plants .
In multicellular organisms , cells are not individual compartments but are able to communicate with each other by means of signals to coordinate and respond to signals that come from the external environment, so that an organism is related to its external environment. The cells are also able to regulate their growth before the signals they receive and to program their own cell death due to the accumulation of mutations or failures in their functioning. An example of the importance of these responses is cancer, when the cell begins to get out of control due to its inability to stay coordinated with its environment and to schedule its death.
But no study on the cell would have been possible without technological development and innovation in the optical and electronic field that allowed the development of microscopes to observe structures of the size of only a nanometer.
Similarities between animal and plant cells
Thus, after knowing what a cell is, we explain that the similarities between plant and animal cells are:
- They are the basic morphological and functional units.
- Both plant and animal cells are eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells, unlike prokaryotes (bacteria and Archean), have an organized cell nucleus with a covering that protects them, cellular organelles, cytoskeleton (cellular skeleton) and an organized and packaged genome in chromosomes, among other things.
- They are surrounded by a semipermeable plasma membrane that delimits the cytoplasm.
- Size that ranges between 10 and 100 ?m. Animal cells can reach 30 ?m, while vegetables, 100 ?m a micron is one thousandth of a millimeter).
- Given their small size, they can not be observed with the naked eye and the help of microscopes is required.
Differences between animal and plant cells
Now that we have mentioned the similarities, we detail that the differences we can find between plant and animal cells are:
- Plant cells have a cell wall outside the plasma membrane. This wall gives them great rigidity and is composed of cellulose, lignin, among other components. Animal cells do not have this cell wall. Some of the components of the plant cell wall have multiple commercial and industrial applications.
- The plant cell has chloroplasts inside it. These chloroplasts contain pigments such as chlorophyll or carotene and allow the process of photosynthesis . Many of these pigments have commercial or industrial applications. Animal cells do not possess chloroplasts.
- Plant cells have the ability to produce their own food from inorganic components through the phenomenon of photosynthesis, which is called autotrophic nutrition.
- Animal cells do not have the capacity to produce their own food from inorganic components, which is called heterotrophic nutrition.
- In photosynthesis, the plant cell is able to transform solar or light energy into chemical energy.
- In animal cells, energy is provided by the mitochondria.
- Plant cells have their cytoplasm occupied by large vacuoles in 90% of their space, sometimes even as a single large vacuole. These vacuoles serve to store products of metabolism and to eliminate waste products. While animal cells have vacuoles, but small and do not take up so much space.
- Animal cells have an organelle called centrosome (responsible for the separation of chromosomes to divide between daughter cells), while plant cells, no.
- The plant cells usually have a prismatic shape while the animal cells can have different forms.