Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell: As we know a cell is a basic part of creating life. A home is made out of brick, the same as the human body is also made out of cells. Hence, Cells are called living building blocks of life. Nonetheless, in biology, we learn about two different main types of cells, i.e., Plant and Animal Cells. These both are Eukaryotic cells. These cells have both similarities and differences as well. So here we have discussed the differences between Plant Cell and Animal Cell on the basis of size, Shape, Cell Wall, Presence and Absence of plastids, Presence and Absence of chloroplast, etc. Further, differences are tabulated below.

Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell

The difference between the two is that Plant cells have a true nucleus and certain organelles that perform specific functions while animal cells are a type of eukaryotic cell that lacks a cell wall and has a true membrane-bound nucleus along with other cellular organelles. Also, plant cells are generally larger in size whereas animal cells are generally smaller in size ranging from 10-30 micrometers. The other differences are given below in the table-

Basis of Comparison               Plant cell            Animal cell
MeaningThey are eukaryotic cells having a true nucleus along with specialized structures known as organelles which perform specific functions.It is a type of eukaryotic cell that lacks a cell wall and has a true, membrane-bound nucleus along with other cellular organelles.
SizeFixed-size which is generally larger. The normal range is from 10-100 micrometers.Irregular and small in size. Ranges from 10-30 micrometers.
ShapeThey have a fixed and rigid shape – generally rectangular or cubical. They have round and irregular shapes.
Cell Wall The cell wall is composed of the cell membrane and cellulose. Does not have a cell wall.
Surrounded ByRigid wall cell and plasma membrane Flexible and thin plasma membrane 
Plastids PresentAbsent 
ChloroplastPresent in plant cellsNot present in animal cells
RibosomesPresentPresent
CytoplasmPresentPresent
NucleusLies on one sideLies in the cell wall’s center 
Cilia AbsentGenerally present 
CentriolesAbsentPresent
Mitochondria Present in a small numberPresent in a large number
Glyoxysomes May be presentAbsent
LysosomesAbsentPresent
Centrosomes AbsentPresent
VacuolesGenerally large and provide structural support. One huge vacuole.Vacuoles are small in size but are many in number any vacuoles.
Essential NutrientsPlant cells can synthesize their own nutrients such as amino acids, and vitamin coenzymes that are required by the plant. Animal cells cannot synthesize their own nutrients.
Reserve Food Present as starch.Present as complex carbohydrates and glycogen.

Plant Cell Structure

Kingdom Plantae majorly contains multicellular eukaryotes living things that are autotrophs by nature. Moreover, The organelles inside the plant cells such as chloroplast, cell wall, and vacuole, help in differentiating them from animal cells. Generally, the size of plant cells ranges from 10-100 µm.  Plant cells are responsible for performing the function of photosynthesis. As a result, plants are referred to as autotrophs. It is done due to the presence of chlorophyll inside the chloroplast of the plant cells.

Plant Cell

Cell Wall

The cell wall of the plant cell is composed of cellulose, pectin, and hemicellulose. The location of the cell wall is outside the cell membrane. The vital function of the cell wall is to protect and provide structural support to the cell. Also, the plant cell wall is also involved in protecting the cell against mechanical stress and providing form and structure to the cell. 

Cell membrane

The membrane of a plant cell is the semi-permeable membrane that is present within the cell wall. The composition of this membrane is a thin layer of protein and fat. Its main function is to regulate the entry and exit of specific substances within the cell.

Nucleus

This part of the plant cell is a membrane-bound structure that is present only in eukaryotic cells. The primary function of a nucleus is to store DNA or hereditary information required for cell division, metabolism, and growth. The Nucleus consists of the nucleolus and nucleopore.

Nucleolus

The nucleolus inside the nucleus manufactures cell protein-producing structures and ribosomes.

Nucleopore

The nuclear membrane is perforated with holes which are referred to as nucleopore that allow proteins and nucleic acids to pass through.

Plastids

Plastids are membrane-bound organelles that have their own DNA. The most important function of Plastids is photosynthesis and storage.

Chloroplasts

Each chloroplast contains a green-colored pigment called chlorophyll which is required for the process of photosynthesis. The chlorophyll absorbs light energy from the sun and utilizes it to transform carbon dioxide and water into glucose.

Central Vacuole

Central Vacuole occupies 30% of the cell volume in a mature plant cell.  The Central vacuole is surrounded by tonoplast. The primary function of the central vacuole apart from storage is to sustain turgor pressure against the cell wall. 

Golgi Apparatus

The main function of this organelle is the packaging and secretion of proteins.

Ribosomes

These are the smallest membrane-bound organelles that comprise RNA and protein. The function of this organelle is a synthesis of protein.

Mitochondria

They are popularly known as the “Powerhouse of the cells”. The main function of mitochondria is to produce energy. 

Lysosome

Lysosomes are called “Suicidal bags” as they hold digestive enzymes in an enclosed membrane. They perform the function of cellular waste disposal.

Function Of Plant Cell

Photosynthesis is the vital function performed by plant cells. Photosynthesis occurs inside the chloroplasts of the plant cell. It is the process of preparing food by the plants, by using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Energy is also produced in the form of ATP during the process of photosynthesis.

Animal Cell Structure

They are eukaryotes that have membrane-bound nuclei. Animal cells are different from plant cells in that they do contain cell walls and chloroplast. Animal cells are generally smaller in size than plant cells. The other distinct character is its irregular shape the reason for the irregularity of its shape is the absence of a cell wall, unlike plant cells. 

Animal Cell

A classic animal cell comprises the following cell organelles:

Cell Membrane

It is a semipermeable membrane that protects the cell from its surroundings. Also, it regulates the entry and exit of nutrients and other microscopic entities into the cell.  

Nucleus

It is an organelle that contains other sub-organelles such as nucleolus, nucleosomes, and chromatins. The Nucleus carries genetic material and DNA.

Nuclear Membrane

It is a double membrane that surrounds the nucleus.

Centrosome

It is near the nucleus and is smaller in size. The centrosomes are the organelle where microtubules are produced.

Lysosome

This organelle is rounded and surrounded by a membrane and comprises digestive enzymes which help in digestion, removal of waste, and the cell renewal process.

Cytoplasm

This is a jelly-like material that has all the cell organelles, enclosed within the cell membrane.  

Golgi Apparatus

It acts as a factory where proteins received from the ER are further processed and sorted for transport to their eventual destinations.

Mitochondria

An organelle having spherical or rod-shaped with a double membrane. They are considered the powerhouse of a cell as they play an important role in releasing energy.

Ribosomes

Small organelles are made up of RNA-rich cytoplasmic granules, and they are the sites of protein synthesis.

Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER)

It consists of a network of membranous sacs called cisternae that branches off from the nuclear membrane. There are two types of ER, rough endoplasmic reticulum and smooth endoplasmic reticulum. It functions in transporting proteins synthesized by the ribosomes.

Vacuole

It functions in maintaining shape and storing water, food, wastes, etc.

Function Of Animal Cell

The important functions of an animal cell include giving the animal's body a proper structure, absorbing nutrients to convert into energy, and helping the movements of animals. They also contain all the genetic material of an organism and can make copies                     

Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal Cell - FAQs

Ans. Both plant and animal cells have cell membranes, a nucleus, cytoplasm, and mitochondria.

Ans. No, plant cells vary by location, function, type, and even by the individual plant species.

Ans. Mitochondria are called the Powerhouse of cells because mitochondria take energy from food in the form of metabolites and convert it into a molecule called ATP, the energy currency that the cells in the body can use.

Ans. Lysosomes are known as suicide bags of cell because it contains digestive enzymes.

Ans. Golgi apparatus functions as a factory in which proteins received from the ER are further processed and sorted for transport to their eventual destinations: lysosomes, the plasma membrane, or secretion.

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