Plant cells are the basic unit of life in the organisms of the Plantae kingdom. These are eukaryotic cells that have a real nucleus along with specialized structures called organelles that perform different functions. Plant cells have special organelles called chloroplasts that produce sugars through photosynthesis. What are plant cells?

Review of plant cells

Animals, fungi and protists also have eukaryotic cells, while bacteria and archaea have simpler prokaryotic cells. Plant cells are distinguished from the cells of other organisms by cell walls, chloroplasts and a central vacuole. Chloroplasts in plant cells can undergo photosynthesis to produce glucose. In this way, cells use carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Other organisms, such as animals, rely on this oxygen and glucose to survive. Plants are considered autotrophic because they produce their own food and do not need to consume any other organisms. Plant cells in particular are photoautotrophic because they use solar energy to produce glucose. Organisms eating plants and other animals are considered heterotrophic.

The other components of the plant cell, the cell wall and the central vacuole, work together to give the cell stiffness. The plant cell will store water in the central vacuole, which extends the vacuole to the sides of the cell. The cell wall then presses against the walls of other cells, creating a force called turgor pressure. The pressure of the pressure between the cells allows the plants to grow high and reach sunlight.

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Plant cell structure

Like the various organs in the body, the structure of plant cells includes various components called cell organelles that perform different functions to sustain themselves. are examples of structures and organelles that can be found in typical plant cells:

  • Cell membrane (plasma): this thin, semi-permeable membrane surrounds the cell’s cytoplasm, surrounding its contents.
  • Cell wall: This rigid outer cell covering protects the plant cell and gives it shape.
  • Chloroplasts: Chloroplasts are photosynthetic sites in a plant cell that contain chlorophyll, a green pigment that absorbs solar energy.
  • Cytoplasm: A gel-like substance in the cell membrane is known as the cytoplasm. It contains water, enzymes, salts, organelles and various organic molecules.
  • Cytoskeleton: This network of fibers throughout the cytoplasm helps the cell maintain its shape and provides cell support.
  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER): ER is an extensive membrane network consisting of both regions with ribosomes (rough ER) and regions without ribosomes (smooth ER). ER synthesizes proteins and lipids.
  • Golgi Complex: Organelle is responsible for the production, storage and shipping of certain cellular products, including proteins.
  • Microtubules: these hollow rods work primarily to support and shape the cell. They are important for the movement of chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis, as well as for the movement of the cytosol in the cell.
  • Mitochondria: Mitochondria produce energy for the cell by converting glucose (produced by photosynthesis) and oxygen into ATP. This process is known as breathing.
  • Nucleus: The nucleus is a membrane-related structure that contains inherited cell information (DNA).

What is the role of chloroplast membranes?

Like mitochondria, chloroplasts are surrounded by two membranes. The outer membrane is permeable to small organic molecules, while the inner membrane is less permeable and filled with transport proteins. The innermost matrix of chloroplasts, called framework, contains metabolic enzymes and multiple copies of the chloroplast genome.

Chloroplasts also have a third internal membrane called a thylakoid membrane, which is highly complex and appears as a pile of flattened discs in electron micrographs. Tylakoids contain a light-accumulating complex, including pigments such as chlorophyll, as well as electron transport chains used in photosynthesis



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