Difference Between Plant and Animal cells

Cell is the basic unit of life.

All the living beings including animals and plants are made of cells.

These cells control the birth of the organism, its growth,  reproduction and even death.

These animals or plants are able to live and act only due to the activity within these cells.

Plant cells and animal cells are similar to a large extent in terms of the cell organelles.

But they differ a lot in terms of physiological function and their role in the body.

Difference Between Plant and Animal cells with Chart

But the plant and animal cells do not have similar stages and physiological roles life. Even the purposes are also different.

FeaturePlant cellAnimal cell
SizeAre larger comparativelyAre smaller
Shape of cellMostly fixed and is rectangularFixed but flexible due to no cell wall and shapes vary based on requirements
Cell wallIs present which gives them rigidityAbsent and donot require as animal has protection means like running away to safety
Cell organellesChloroplasts presentChloroplasts are absent except in euglena
Dead cellsIn plants dead cells get hardened with age and remain as part of the bodyDead cells are destroyed or digested and expelled from the body
VacuolesSingle vacuole presentSmall but more than vacuole present
Tissue typesOnly three major tissues are present in plants like parenchyma, collenchyma, sclerenchyma. Besides there is meristem at tips.Four tissue types like epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscular tissue and nervous tissue.
Free moving cellsNo plant cell is free to move within the bodyBlood cells, sperms, ova in animals move freely in the define channels.
Centrioles in cell divisionAbsentPresent and helps to organize spindles

Difference Between Plant and Animal cells

Plant cell phases: Based on their cell phases or life stages, The early cells are called parenchyma. These cells form  tissues in plants and get differentiated to form new formed tissues. This tissue and has a great potential to grow.

The next stage of the cells is collenchyma. This collenchyma tissue has no potential to grow but has physiology and it has very long life span. It is terminated by next stage when cells convert to sclerechyma.

The last stage of plant cell life is sclerenchyma. Sclerenchyma has only dead cells but it is not removed from the plant body. Instead it is used to give hardness and support to plant.

This sclerenchyma cell is made hard due to deposition of dead substance namely legnin. It also supports other functions of plant by being converted to xylem, phloem etc. Here xylem is a water conducting channel and phloem is food conduction channel to whole plant. Since there is no circulatory system in plants, these channels serve the purpose.

So the trend in plant cell life is that parenchyma converts to collenchyma and then as they age they convert to sclerenchyma.

Animal cell phases: Animal cell has no such phases. They just are born, grow, perform normal physiology and die. The dead ones are replaced by new cells. Dead cells are removed of the body unlike in plants.

Animal cells and plant cell are similar to a great extent in terms of structure and physiology. Plants have small variation like presence of outer rigid cell wall, chloroplast for synthesis of own food by use of sunlight, presence of duct like cell structures to move water and other essential elements through their large and long bodies etc. Xylem is meant for water transport and phloem is meant for food transport. Their hormones that influence their physiology are different than animal’s cells.

Food: In animal cell, the food is supplied by some external source and transported by blood. So for food animal cells depend on some source while most plant cell synthesize their own food.

Excretion: waste of animal cell is removed of the cell and carried outside the body. In plant cell, the waste is stored inside the cell or in the vicinity of the cell. This is then stored as alkaloids or other waste like in leaves which wither away.

Respiration: In both plants and animals respiration is by mitochondria and energy is from combustion of carbohydrates in presence of oxygen. For more details on respiration read article on mitochondria and its characters .

Multiplication: Cells in both animals and plants multiply in their number by mitosis or meiosis. The  difference is that mitosis gives rise to two new cells with same genetic trends as parent cell while meiosis gives four cell with half of the genetic trait of parent cell. Mitosis is for cell replacement while meiosis is for reproduction.

Cell death: In plant cells, the cells gets signified with age and lose the internal contents. This adds strength to plant though cell is dead. In animals the cell death results by apoptosis and necrosis.

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