We know that plant cells and animal cells have several similarities. Yet, plant cells and animal cells are not identical. They also have certain differences, which set them apart from each other. So, what does a plant cell have that an animal cell does not?
What do plant cells have that animal cells do not?
Both plant cells and animal cells have certain parts that do not exist in the other. Both plants and animals have a cell structure that is different from each other. Further, animal cells have lysosomes and centrosomes that are absent in the plant cells. So, let us look at some parts that are unique to plant cells –
The cell wall is a complex structure present only in plant cells. It helps in providing structural support to the plant and helps it maintain its rigid shape.
It is made up of cellulose and generally has two membranes. It also provides the first line of defense and helps protect the plant from intrusions by harmful foreign elements.
Initially, there is a primary cell wall that develops in the young cells. It provides basic structural support and provides adequate space for the contents of the cell to develop. Once the cell has fully developed, a thicker, secondary cell wall is formed. It is tougher and more durable than the primary cell wall.
The cell wall in the plant cell is the replacement of the cell membrane that is found in animal cells.
Chloroplasts are unique to plant cells. They are organelles that act as the site of photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process in which light energy is converted to chemical energy in plants. They also have their own set of genomes. The entire organelle is enclosed in a chloroplast envelope which consists of two membranes. It is oval in shape and green in color.
It is due to the presence of chloroplasts that plants appear green. It contains chlorophyll, which absorbs light in the process of photosynthesis. The entire organelle is enclosed in a chloroplast envelope which consists of two membranes. It is due to the presence of chloroplasts, that plants can make their food.
Thus, it plays an important role in the survival of plants.
While both plant cells and animal cells have vacuoles, it is much larger in the plants.
It is a membrane-bound organelle that performs the function of waste disposal. While animals have an excretory system, it is absent in plants. So, in plants, the function of the vacuole is to break down the waste and store it safely until the cell dies.
Another function of the vacuole is to maintain the water balance in the plant cell. Due to this, the size of the vacuole is much larger in the plant cell.
Thus, these are the things that are present in the plant cell but not in animal cells. Due to these, the structure of the plant cell is different from the animal cell.