Mini Wiki 5: But What About Plant Cells?

Mini Wiki

Last time, it’s here if you didn’t read it, I spoke about animal cells. So this time it seemed only right to talk about plant cells. Are they really all that different from there animal counter parts? Let’s find out! As always if you’re feeling lazy I’ve put my 5 highlights at the end!


How are plant cells different from animal cells?

There are a number of different ways plant cells are different from animal cells. Firstly plant cells have a cell wall. This is outside of the cell membrane that provides protection and structure, it’s made of predominately cellulose. This leads on to another difference and that is shape, plant cells have a more rigid rectangular shape compared to animal cells, which tend to be more varied. Plant cells also contain one central large vacuole, animal cells have smaller vacuoles that are more doted around. The other main difference is plant cells contain chloroplasts which are essential for the process of photosynthesis.

What are the main similarities between plant and animal cells?

Both animal and plant cells contain a lot of the same organelles. Such as the nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. This will be the topic of the next mini wiki!

Are there specialised plant cells, like there are specialised animal cells?

Yes, there are loads of specialised plant cells performing all sorts of different functions for plants to exist. Some plant cells synthesise and store organic products, while others help to transport nutrients throughout the plant for example root hair cells. Specialised plant cells combine to form specialised tissues like phloem and xylem.

5 things you need to know about plant cells

  1. Plant cells have a rigid structure, thanks to the cell wall which gives protection.
  2. Plant cells contain the organelle chloroplasts which are essential for photosynthesis.
  3. There are many specialised plant cells that perform specific functions.
  4. Phloem cells and tissues move sugars up and down the plant to provide each area with energy.
  5. Xylem cells and tissues move water up the plant away from the root cells.


Bailey, R. (2016). Plant Cell. Available: Last accessed 11 July 2016.

Boundless. “Vascular Tissue: Xylem and Phloem.” Boundless Biology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 11 Jul. 2016 from

Diffen. (2016). Plant Cell vs Animal Cell. Available: Last accessed 11 July 2016.

ThatBiologist Everywhere!





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