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All living things are made up of cells. Animals, humans, and even plants, are made up of cells. Plant cells are called eukaryotic cells and they are made up of many different parts. Plant cells have a set structure of parts and each part has a function.
Parts and Functions of the Plant Cell
A plant cell is a plants unit of life and is made up of many different parts. Below you will find a glossary of the plant cells parts and a little bit about each function.
The cell wall is the outside of a plant cell and surrounds the cell membrane. The cell wall is a rigid cellulose material that's purpose is to protect the cell.
The cell membrane is a plant cells security. Its role is to protect the cell from its surrounding and separates the inside of the cell from the outside of the cell. The cell membrane is a thin membrane that is on the outside of the cytoplasm.
The cytoplasm is the liquid inside of a plant cell and surrounds the cell membrane. It is made up of water, salt and proteins. The cytoplasm is located on both the inside and outside of the nucleus. The endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria are both inside of the cytoplasm.
Vacuoles are located in the cytoplasm and this is where the cells food is stored. Vacuoles are a combination of water and amino acids and are surrounded by a lipid membrane. Vacuoles also store plant cells waste and protect the rest of the cell from that waste.
The nucleus is located inside of the plant cell and is the most important part. The nucleus is a plant cells control center and acts as the plant cells brain. The nucleus is protected by the cell membrane and sits inside the cytoplasm.
The nucleolus is located inside of the nucleus and is the largest structure in the nucleus. The nucleolus is important because it's the cells response system to stress. The nucleolus is also responsible for assembling ribosomes. Ribosomes travel on and stick to the endoplasmic reticulum. Ribosomes purpose are to build proteins that can be used throughout the cell to build new structures or repair any damages.
The nuclear membrane or also known as the nuclear envelop, surrounds the outside of the nucleolus. The nuclear membrane consists of two layers, the inner nuclear membrane and the outer nuclear membrane. The nuclear membrane has small pores that allow movement in and out of the nucleus.
Centrosome's are located near the nucleus and creates a cell's microtubules. This is also where mitosis occurs in plant cells. During mitosis, the centrosome divides to opposite sides and becomes two parts that divide the cell.
The endoplasmic reticulum is connected to the nucleus and is a cells transport system. The endoplasmic reticulum has two parts, the rough ER and the smooth ER. The rough ER is bumpy and shaped like sheets or disks. The smooth ER is shaped like tubes. The rough ER is where the ribosomes attach and that's why it is bumpy and called the rough ER. The smooth ER is where the cell stores lipids and steroids.
The mitochondrion is referred to as the powerhouse in the plant cell. The mitochondrion is important because it takes in nutrients, breaks those nutrients down, and creates energy from breaking down those nutrients. The mitochondrion keeps the cell full of energy. Some plant cells have thousands of mitochondria floating throughout the cell. The mitochondrion is home to the cristae and ATP. The cristae is inner membrane of the mitochondria and this is where the cells energy is produced. The ATP, also known as the adenosine triphosphate, is used for energy storage.
Amyloplasts are only found in some plant cells and they store starch.
The Golgi bodies, also known as Golgi Apparatus, are found in most plant cells. They're known as the packaging organelle. The Golgi bodies gathers and combines proteins and packages them into vesicles. The Golgi bodies either stores these packages or sends them to be used throughout the cell. The Golgi bodies also build lysosomes, which is the cells digestive system.
Chloroplasts can only be found in plant cells. Chloroplasts are unique because there goal is to convert sunlight into energy for the plants to use. This is known as photosynthesis. Chloroplasts differ in size and shape. Sometimes they can be really large and sometimes they can be really small. Chloroplasts are usually shaped like ovals but sometimes can be other shapes. A chloroplast is made out of many parts such as the outer membrane, inner membrane, stroma, thylakoid, and pigments.
Photosynthesis is the process of turning sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into energy. Plants use photosynthesis to create their own food and this is how a plant eats. Chlorophyll is the molecule that absorbs the sunlight in the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll uses the sunlight's energy to turn the water and carbon dioxide into food. Chlorophyll is usually green.
Plant Cell Activities for Kids