BiologyScience

Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

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Main Difference

The cell is the basic structural unit of living as the atom is the basic structural unit of the matter. Every living organism is made up of cells; from enormous sized animals (whales) to microscopic organisms (bacteria), every living organism is made up of the cell. Cells are the microscopic unit which can’t be seen with the naked eye. These cells combine to form tissues, and later the tissues combine to form different organs. The basic structure of the animal and plant cell is quite similar as both of them are eukaryotic cells. The major difference between both these cell type is that animal cells lack cell wall and chloroplasts, whereas plant cell possesses definite cell wall and chloroplasts. The difference is due to the mode of nutrition as animals are heterotrophs and plants are autotrophs.

Comparison Chart

Plant CellAnimal Cell
Cell WallPlant cell has a cell wall and it keeps it maintaining the fixed rectangular shape of the plant cell.Animal cell lacks a cell wall and has round (irregular shape).
ChloroplastsPlant cell has chloroplasts as they are autotrophs.Animal cell lack chloroplasts as animals are heterotrophs.
VacuolePlants cell has only one vacuole that is of a size that it makes up the 90% of the cell volume.Animal cells have several vacuoles that are small in size.
Function of VacuoleThe main function of the vacuole in a plant cell is to store water and maintain turgidity of the cell.The main function of the vacuole in an animal cell is to store water, waste, and ions.
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What is Plant Cell?

Animal cells are usually the same when it comes to the presence of the cell organelles and cell membrane. The point which distinguishes it from the plant cell is that it lacks the cell wall and the chloroplast. Animal cells have plasma membrane as the outermost boundary in place of the cellulose cell wall present in the plant cell. On the other hand, animal cell lacks chloroplast as they are heterotrophs and don’t have to prepare food by their own. The animal cell is usually in round or the irregular shape. The size of the animal cell varies from 10 to 30 micrometers, which makes it smaller in size as compared to the plant cell. The animal cell has several small sized vacuoles, which have the main function to store water, waste, and ions. The genetic material (DNA) in the animal cell is stored in the nucleus, and the membrane bounds it. The irregularity in the shape and size of the animal cell is because of the lacking of the cell wall.

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What is Animal Cell?

A plant cell is a eukaryotic cell that has a fixed the rectangular shape. The plant cells apart from having cell organelles like the nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria have cell wall and chloroplast, which are absent in the animal cell. The cell is the outermost boundary in plants, and it keeps the definite regular shape in the plants. On the other hand, they have chloroplasts, which are essential for the process of photosynthesis. As plants are autotrophs, they prepare their food in the presence of sunlight, and chloroplasts play a pivotal role in doing it so. Plants cell has only one vacuole that is of a size that it makes up the 90% of the cell volume. The main function of the vacuole in a plant cell is to store water and maintain turgidity of the cell.

Plant Cell vs. Animal Cell

  • Animal cell lacks a cell wall and has round (irregular shape), whereas plant cell has a cell wall and it keeps it maintaining the fixed rectangular shape of the plant cell.
  • Animal cell lack chloroplasts as animals are heterotrophs while plant cell has chloroplasts as they are autotrophs.
  • Plants cell has only one vacuole that is of a size that it makes up the 90% of the cell volume, on the other hand, animal cells have several vacuoles that are small in size.
  • The main function of the vacuole in a plant cell is to store water and maintain turgidity of the cell, whereas the main function of the vacuole in an animal cell is to store water, waste, and ions.
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Comparison Video

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Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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