We know very well that plant and animal cells have several similarities. However, there are also several differences between animal and plant cells. We know that animal cells have a structure called the ribosome. So, do a plant cell also has ribosomes?
Do plant cells have ribosomes?
Yes, plant cells do have ribosomes. The cells of all living beings contain ribosomes. These are tiny structures generally found floating in the cytoplasm within the cell. Essentially, the ribosome helps in the protein synthesis of the plant cell. Thus, it helps convert amino acids into essential proteins that are required by the plant cells.
Let us explore more about ribosomes in plant cells.
The ribosome is a complex molecule made of ribosomal RNA molecules and proteins. It is found in abundance in the cytoplasm of the plant cell. It carries out the essential function of protein synthesis in the plant cell.
Essentially, the function of the ribosome is to provide a place for protein synthesis to occur. In 1955, George E. Palade, a Romanian-born American scientist, discovered ribosomes. He termed them as tiny particles in the cytoplasm that are preferentially associated itself with the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.
He also discovered that ribosomes performed protein synthesis in cells. The discovery was considered a remarkable feat, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974 for his achievement.
Structure of Ribosomes
Each ribosome is composed of a large and small component. The components come together to form a single unit. It is scattered in the cytoplasm and is generally found in abundant numbers. It contains several ribosomal RNA molecules and dozens of proteins. It essentially binds the messenger RNA of the cell and acts as a docking station for the transferred RNA that contains the amino acid. The amino acid then forms a part of the polypeptide chain and eventually forms the protein.
Function of Ribosomes
The primary function of the ribosome is to provide a place for the synthesis of the protein. Further, the ribosome is also responsible for the translation of encoded messages that it receives from the messenger RNA.
The DNA produces the messenger RNA through the process of DNA transcription. The mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus. This messenger RNA is then transported to the ribosome through the cytoplasm for protein synthesis. The messenger RNA essentially directs the synthesis of proteins from amino acids.
The amino acids get synthesized and form a polypeptide chain. This chain eventually forms the protein. Thus, the ribosome is the place where the protein synthesis of the plant cell occurs. Due to the essential function that it carries out, it is found in both prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells.
Thus, we can see that ribosomes are present in the plant cells, just like in animal cells. They carry out the essential function of protein synthesis and are very important for the survival of the plant. So, we can say that ribosomes are tiny organelles that form an important part of the plant cell.