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All about the plant cell :)

This site is here to help you learn about the plant cell!

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Chris Farmer
Doug Kiss
Christie Rockwell
Pat White
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Diagram of a Plant Cell


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In 1665, Robert Hooke examined a thin slice of a cork under a microscope.  He saw that it was made of thousands of tiny chambers.  These chambers reminded him of the tiny rooms in a monastery, called cells.


Robert Hooke

One of Hooke's drawings

Robert Hooke's drawing of cork cells

Cork Tree


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What are they?

Chloroplasts are lima bean shaped organelles that assist with photosynthesis.  There can be several hundred chloroplasts in one cell.  Chloroplasts are extremely important organelles, and the more a cell has, the healthier and more efficient the plant is.

Chloroplasts are what give plants their green color.


Inside of a chloroplast

Image of an actual plant cell

Transportation and Modification

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Lysosomes are formed by the Golgi Apparatus.  They are made of pieces of membranes, vacuoles, and granules with mitochondria inside.

They contain enzymes that breakdown materials things in the cell.  Lysosomes also manufacture the endoplasmic reticulum.

Golgi Apparatus

The Golgi Apparatus acts as a UPS system for the cell.  There are around 2-6 in a cell.

The Golgi Apparatus sorts, modifies, and packages proteins and other materials from the endoplasmic reticulum for storage in the cell or secretion outside the cell.


A vesicle is a small and enclosed compartment within a cell. There is only 1 in each cell and it transports protein around.

Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and Ribosomes

The endoplasmic reticulum translates proteins and transports items throughout the cell. 

Rough ER & Ribosomes:
The ribosomes exist on the Rough ER and are also scattered througout the cytoplasm.  Ribosomes assemble proteins and polypeptides for cell division.

The lines in the image to the left are pointing to ribosomes.

Smooth ER:
Smooth ER contains collections of enzymes that perform specialized tasks, including the synthesis of membrane lipids and the detoxification of drugs.


Microtubules serve as structural components within cells and are involved in many cellular processes including mitosis, cytokinesis, and vescular transport.

Microtubules help support and shape the cell.  They are sued as routes so organelles can move.  They are usually found in all eukaryotic cells.



Golgi Apparatus

Rough ER with Ribosomes

Smooth ER

Genetic Information

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The nucleus of the plant cell is on the inside of the plant cell in most opinions is the brain and power behind the cell. The nucleus holds the DNA and protein.


The nucleolus is a sub-organelle of the cell nucleus though itself is a nucleus.  The nucleolus is responsible for the production and the assembly of the ribosomes.  It is round and surrounded by a layer of chromatin.


Chromosomes hold a very long continuous DNA strand and they contain genes and regulatory functions.  The chromosomes are located inside the cell.


The Mitochondria holds the DNA and the RNA of the plant cell.  There are hundreds of mitochondria in a plant cell and it also converts glucose into energy.


Inside the nucleus


Inside of a mitochondrion

Support System

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Cell wall

The cell wall is a fairly rigid layer surrounding a cell, located external to the cell membrane, which provides the cell with structural support, protection, and acts as a filtering mechanism.

Cell membrane

The cell membrane is a lipid bilayer that contains a wide variety of molecules mostly proteins and lipids. It surrounds the cytoplasm of a cell, and physically separates the inner cellular components from the outter cellular enviroment.


Cytoplasm is a semi-transparent fluid that fills most cells. Cell expansion, growth and replication are carried out in the cytoplasm of the cell.


There is one vacuole in a plant cell.  It is a support structure for the cell.


Diagram of the cell wall

Vacuoles in multiple cells

As you can see, the vacuole takes up a lot of room in each plant cell.


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Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph Levine. Biology. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004.

"Chapter 1: An Owner's Guide to the Cell." National Institute of General Medical. 2005. 03 Nov 2007 < >.

"Robert Hooke." Cornell University: KMODDL. 03 Nov 2007 <>.

Boon, Tony. "Cork Tree." Tony Boon. 04 12 2006. 03 Nov 2007 <>.

"Cell Anatomy." Cellupedia. 04 Nov 2007 <>.

Waggoner, Ben. "Robert Hooke." 04 Nov 2007 <>.

"Chromosomes." 11 Nov 2007 <>.