Every living organism is made of cells. Cells are the building blocks of living organisms. The cells form the structure of the organism in a definite pattern alongside definite functions. These living cells are of 2 types that we know already i.e. Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells. The prokaryotes do not have a defined nucleus and lack some of the membrane-bound cell organelles. Whereas eukaryotes contain cells having a definite cellular nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Plant and Animal cells are the best examples of Eukaryotic cells. However, these plant and animal cells also differ in some of their structural and functional characteristics. The major top 20 differences between animal and plant cells are discussed in this article.
The main difference between the plant and animal cells is that the presence of cell-wall and chloroplast in plants which is absent in animal cells. The animal cells contain smaller vacuoles if present whereas the plants contains larger vacuoles.
The major characteristic differences between plant and animal cells are discussed as follows:
- A cell wall is absent
- Due to the absence of a cell wall, the shape of animal cells is not firm.
- A tissue fluid generally bathes the cells.
- Protoplasm fills the whole cell.
- The animal cell contains many small vacuoles.
- The nucleus lies in the centre.
- The nucleus is usually rounded.
- In animals, various types of cell junctions are present which hold the cells together.
- When placed in water or hypotonic solution, the animal cells burst.
- Crystals are absent.
- Reserve food as glycogen.
- Plastids are absent.
- Mitochondria are more numerous.
- Mitochondrial cristae are plate-like.
- Golgi apparatus is commonly a single complex.
- The centrosome is present.
- Glyoxysomes are absent.
- Lysosomes are present.
- Intermediate fibres occur in the cytoplasm.
- The animal cell is unable to form certain amino acids, vitamins and coenzymes required by it.
- The spindle apparatus is amphiastral.
- Cell division occurs by cleavage.
- The plant cell is covered by a rigid cell wall.
- The shape of the plant cell is firm.
- Tissue fluid does not occur in plants.
- Protoplasm is generally peripheral.
- A large central vacuole is present.
- The nucleus lies in the peripheral cytoplasm.
- The nucleus is commonly oval in outline.
- Cells are held together by middle lamella.
- The plant cells swell up but do not burst when taken in water or hypotonic solution.
- Plant cells may contain crystals.
- Reserve food is starch.
- Plastids occur in plant cells.
- Mitochondria are fewer.
- Mitochondrial cristae are tubular.
- Golgi apparatus is made of a number of distinct units called dictyosomes.
- The centrosome is absent except in some lower forms.
- Glyoxysomes occur in some plant cells.
- Lysosomes are rare. The function of the lysosome may be taken over by other constituents.
- Intermediate fibres are absent in the cytoplasm.
- Plant cell synthesises all materials required by it.
- The spindle apparatus is anastral.
- Cell division generally occurs by the cell plate method.