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Definition: plant cell from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

A typical plant cell. Plant cells differ from animal cells in that they have chloroplasts (where photosynthesis takes place), a large vacuole, and a cellulose cell wall.

(Image © RM)



Summary Article: plant cell
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Cell in a plant, which, like all eukaryotic cells (see eukaryote), has a cell membrane, cytoplasm, and a nucleus, but which differs from an animal cell by having a cell wall outside the cell surface membrane and a large vacuole. They may also have chloroplasts in the cytoplasm.

The cell surface membrane keeps the cell together by being strong, although it is still very thin and flexible. This membrane controls what enters and leaves the cell – for example, nutrients must be allowed to enter and waste materials must be allowed to leave. The cell has some cytoplasm, but most of the space inside the cell is generally filled with a large vacuole. The cytoplasm contains the nucleus, which controls the activities of the cell, and often contains many chloroplasts, which capture sunlight and make food for the plant through photosynthesis. Chloroplasts are green – this explains why most plants look green.

Plant structure A plant consists of many thousands of cells that are used as building blocks. However, as with a house, different types of building blocks are used in different places. Groups of similar cells form a tissue. An example of this is the tissue forming the central areas of a leaf. One of the specialized cells found in this tissue is the palisade cell. Other tissues in a plant include the outer surface of a leaf, which is made up of another type of specialized cell, the epithelial cell, and root hairs, which are made from specialized cells known as root hair cells.

A leaf is an organ made up of a number of different tissues.


Cell specialization, tissues, organs

Chemicals need for plant growth

Diffusion and osmosis



© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

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