Difference between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

Study what are plant cells and animal cells along with their characteristics and cell organelles. Know the key differences between animal cell and plant cell here.

By Mohit ChauhanPublished : July 22, 2020 , 17:39 IST
Difference between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

A cell is the smallest and basic structural unit of an organ. Cells can be compared to that of bricks as both of them serve as building blocks. In other words, cells are the building blocks of living organisms. Each organism shows variety in the number of cells, shape and size. 

Based on the number of cells, organisms are categorised into unicellular and multicellular organisms. Unicellular organisms are single-celled such as amoeba, bacteria, and plankton. Multicellular organisms are made up of more than one cell. Both plants and animals fall under the category of multicellular organisms. 

In this article, we will study the key differences between plant cells and animal cells

What are Plant Cells?

Plant cells are eukaryotic cells and possess the ability to perform the process of photosynthesis. These cells are characterized by the presence of both the cell wall and cell membrane. The cell wall acts as an additional barrier over the cell membrane in plant cells. 

Characteristics of Plant Cells

  • As stated above, the most recognizable characteristic of a plant cell is the presence of the cell wall in them. 
  • Plant cells contain blank-looking structures called vacuoles in the cytoplasm. Plant cells have large vacuoles. 
  • Plant cells possess the ability to perform the process of photosynthesis due to the presence of coloured bodies called plastids. Green plastids that contain chlorophyll are called chloroplasts. 

List of cell organelles in Plant Cell

  • Cell Wall
  • Cell Membrane
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Chloroplast
  • Cytoplasm
  • Mitochondria
  • Vacuoles

What are Animal Cells?

Animal cells lack the cell wall and only contain the cell membrane for their protection from external disturbances. You are familiar that animals cannot prepare their own food because they do not have a green pigment called chlorophyll in their cells. While a plant cell has a big central vacuole, an animal cell contains small-sized vacuoles. 

Characteristics of Animal Cells

  • These eukaryotic cells lack the cell wall and only possess a cell membrane. 
  • They are characterized by the presence of small-sized vacuoles in comparison to plant cells. 
  • Animal cells do not have the ability to prepare their own food due to the absence of chlorophyll. 

List of cell organelles in Animal Cell

  • Nucleus
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Cytoplasm
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • Mitochondria
  • Ribosome
  • Lysosome
  • DNA
  • Cell Membrane

Difference between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

Below we have tabulated the key differences between plant cell and animal cell. 

Plant Cell

Animal Cell

1

These cells are rectangular in shape. 

1

These cells are irregular in shape. 

2

The cell wall is present in plant cells.

2

The cell wall is absent in animal cells. 

3

They have large-sized vacuoles.

3

They have small-sized vacuoles. 

4

They contain plastids. 

4

They do not have plastids. 

5

Mitochondria are fewer in number.

5

Mitochondria are present in high number.

6

The nucleus is present on one side of the cell. 

6

The nucleus is present in the centre of the cell. 

You have learnt the major differences between a plant cell and an animal cell. Besides, you also studied the list of cell organelles in both types of cells.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a cell?

    A cell is the smallest and basic structural unit of living organisms. A cell can be compared to that of a brick. Cells are thus called building blocks of life.

  • What is the role of the cell wall in plant cells?

    The cell wall is an additional layer over the cell membrane that protects the plant cell against variations in temperature, high wind speed, atmospheric moisture, etc. Besides, it gives rigidity and shape to the plant cell. 

  • What is the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

    Prokaryotic Cells

    • The cells which do not nuclear membrane around their nucleus are called prokaryotic cells.
    • Examples of prokaryotic cells are bacteria and blue-green algae.


    Eukaryotic Cells

    • Eukaryotic cells are characterized by the presence of nuclear membrane around the nucleus.
    • Examples of eukaryotic cells are human beings, plants, animals, etc.
  • Which is the smallest animal cell?

    Mycoplasma gallicepticum is the smallest animal cell.

  • Is the cell wall present in animal cells?

    No, the cell wall is absent in animal cells. An animal cell contains the cell membrane only for their protection. 

  • Why are chloroplasts found only in plant cells?

    Plant cells contain a green pigment called chlorophyll, which allows them to practice the autotrophic mode of nutrition. They have green plastids which contain chlorophyll and are called chloroplasts.

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Class 10thBiology

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Mohit Chauhan

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