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Structure and Function
Plant and Animal Cells
Images, text and information found at:
and google images.
Cell Membrane
The cell membrane is a structure
that forms the outer boundary of the
cell and allows only certain
materials to move into and out of
the cell.
Food, oxygen and water move into
the cell through the membrane.
Waste products also leave through
the membrane.
Cells that perform photosynthesis
(plants and some protists) take in
carbon dioxide through the cell
membrane instead of oxygen.
The cell
membrane allows
only certain
materials to move
in and out of the
Cytoplasm is the gel-like material
inside the cell membrane and
outside the nucleus.
Cytoplasm contains a large amount of
water and many chemicals and
structures that carry out the life
processes in the cell. These
structures that the cytoplasm
contains are called organelles.
Unlike a gelatin dessert, however,
cytoplasm constantly moves or
Cytoplasm is the gellike material inside the
cell (but unlike gelatin
it does flow)
Cells require a continuous supply of
Mitochondria are organelles where
food molecules are broken down
and energy is released. The energy
is then stored in other molecules
that can power cell reactions easily.
Just as a power plant supplies
energy to a business, mitochondria
release energy for the cell.
are where
energy is
Remember the last vacation
you took? Your suitcase
temporarily stored your
clothes. Within a cell, a
vacuole fills a similar role
as a temporary storage
space for the cell.
Vacuoles store water, food,
pigments, waste or other
Vacuoles are large in plant
cells and small in animal
cells. Vacuoles can also be
found in fungi and protists.
Like your
suitcase, a
vacuole is a
space for
the cell.
Cell Wall
The cell wall is a rigid structure
outside the cell membrane
that supports and protects
the cell (for plants, fungi, and
some protists and bacteria).
The cell wall is made of tough
cellulose fibers and other
materials made by the cell.
Note: fungal cell walls
contain chitin instead of
Chloroplasts contain a
green pigment called
chlorophyll. This is what
makes plants green.
Chloroplasts take in
sunlight, water and
carbon dioxide to make
oxygen and sugar (a
form of food). This
process is called
A plant's chloroplasts
convert light energy
into chemical energy.
This photograph of elodea (a waterplant)
has many green dots visible within the
cells. These are the chloroplasts.
The largest organelle in the
cytoplasm of a cell is usually
the nucleus, a structure that
directs all the activities of
the cell.
The nucleus is like a manager
who directs everyday
business for a company and
passes on information to
new cells. The nucleus
contains genetic blueprints
for the operations of the cell.
Mr. Nucleus