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Plant Cell vs. Animal Cell: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 4, 2023
Plant cells have a rigid cell wall, chloroplasts, and large central vacuoles. Animal cells lack these structures but possess lysosomes and centrosomes.

Key Differences

Plant cells are the fundamental units that make up the tissues and organs of plants. Animal cells are the basic building blocks of animals. While both are eukaryotic cells, they exhibit several distinct structural differences.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
Plant cells are typically rectangular or square-shaped due to a rigid cell wall that surrounds their cell membrane. This cell wall, mainly composed of cellulose, provides structural support. Animal cells, on the other hand, do not have a cell wall, resulting in varied and irregular shapes, primarily maintained by their semi-permeable cell membrane.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
One of the most noticeable features of plant cells is the presence of chloroplasts. These organelles contain chlorophyll, which enables photosynthesis, allowing plants to convert light energy into chemical energy. Animal cells do not have chloroplasts and, therefore, cannot perform photosynthesis.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
Plant cells contain a large central vacuole that stores nutrients, waste products, and helps maintain turgor pressure. In contrast, animal cells have smaller vacuoles and might possess lysosomes, enzyme-containing organelles responsible for digesting cellular waste.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023
Both plant and animal cells contain mitochondria, responsible for producing energy. However, only animal cells typically contain centrosomes, structures that play a role in cell division.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Shape

Typically rectangular due to cell wall.
Varied and irregular.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Cell Wall

Present, made of cellulose.
Absent.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Chloroplasts

Present for photosynthesis.
Absent.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Vacuole Size

Large central vacuole.
Smaller vacuoles.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Lysosomes & Centrosomes

Rarely present in lysosomes; No centrosomes.
Lysosomes are common; Centrosomes present.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023
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Plant Cell and Animal Cell Definitions

Plant Cell

The basic structural unit of plants.
The leaf consists of numerous plant cells.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Animal Cell

Eukaryotic cells lacking a cell wall and chloroplasts.
The animal cell has a flexible structure due to the absence of a rigid wall.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Plant Cell

An organism's cellular building block with a capability for photosynthesis.
Plant cells utilize sunlight to produce energy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Animal Cell

The fundamental unit forming animal tissues and organs.
The muscle tissue comprises numerous animal cells.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Plant Cell

Cells that possess a rigid structure due to cellulose walls.
Water storage in the plant cell occurs in the central vacuole.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Animal Cell

A cell type characterized by lysosomes and centrosomes.
Centrosomes in the animal cell assist in cell division.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Plant Cell

Eukaryotic cells characterized by a cell wall and chloroplasts.
In the plant cell, photosynthesis occurs in the chloroplasts.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Animal Cell

The primary structural and functional unit of animals.
Animal cells require a continuous supply of oxygen for survival.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Plant Cell

A cell that makes up the tissues and organs of plants.
A plant cell's rigid structure protects its internal components.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Animal Cell

Cells that make up the entirety of animal organisms.
Each animal cell works in harmony to ensure the organism's well-being.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

FAQs

What defines an animal cell?

It's the foundational unit forming animal tissues and organs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 04, 2023

Do animal cells have a cell wall?

No, animal cells lack a cell wall.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

What's the function of chloroplasts in plant cells?

They facilitate photosynthesis by converting light energy to chemical energy.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

How do plant cells store nutrients?

They use a large central vacuole.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Do plant cells have a cell wall?

Yes, plant cells have a cell wall made primarily of cellulose.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

How do cells produce energy?

Both plant and animal cells use mitochondria for energy production.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

Why do plant cells need a rigid structure?

The rigid cell wall provides structural support and protection.
Harlon Moss
Oct 04, 2023

What are lysosomes?

They are enzyme-containing organelles in animal cells that digest waste.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Are lysosomes common in plant cells?

They are rarely present in plant cells.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

What is a centrosome's role in animal cells?

It assists in cell division.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

Which cell type contains more lysosomes?

Animal cells typically have more lysosomes.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

What is a plant cell?

It's the basic structural and functional unit of plants.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Do animal cells have chloroplasts?

No, animal cells lack chloroplasts.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Do animal cells have large central vacuoles like plant cells?

No, animal cells have smaller vacuoles.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Do plant cells contain centrosomes?

Typically, plant cells do not have centrosomes.
Sara Rehman
Oct 04, 2023

What shape are plant cells typically?

They are often rectangular due to the presence of a cell wall.
Janet White
Oct 04, 2023

Do plant cells perform photosynthesis?

Yes, thanks to chloroplasts.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Why are animal cell shapes varied?

They lack a rigid cell wall, resulting in varied shapes.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 04, 2023

Can animal cells conduct photosynthesis?

No, they cannot perform photosynthesis.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023

Are both plant and animal cells eukaryotic?

Yes, both are eukaryotic, meaning they have a nucleus.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 04, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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