Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells: Compare & Contrast!

Welcome back, everyone! Today we’re going
to be contrasting plant and animal cells. A lot of videos cover the different
organelles, but this video does that AND compares how the different cell types
tackle the same problems. At the end, we’ll also be organizing all that
information into a handy chart that makes a great study reference, so be sure
to stick with us! The first task we’re going to discuss is how cells maintain
an internal environment that’s different than their external environment. Both
plant and animal cells use a selectively permeable membrane that’s composed of
two layers of phospholipids and studded with channels. These channels only allow
certain molecules to pass through and thus play a major role in regulating the
internal environment. Plant and animal cells both use a selectively permeable
membrane. To store and pass on genetic information, both plant and animal cells
use a nucleus and a nucleolus. The nucleus contains genetic information
that controls growth, cellular activity, and protein creation. The nucleolus
assembles components of ribosomes which play an important role in protein
creation. When it comes to creating proteins, ribosomes string together amino
acids with peptide bonds. Even though they’re really important, ribosomes are
technically not considered to be organelles because they’re not membrane
bound. The Golgi apparatus then takes this long polypeptide chain created by
the ribosomes and folds it up into a protein. Plant and animal cells need to
be able to move the proteins around the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum assists
with transport and also plays several other roles, depending on whether it is
rough or smooth. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is studded with ribosomes so
that it can aid in protein synthesis. It also attaches instructional tags to
polypeptides. The smooth ER participates in lipid synthesis, stores ions, and aids
in detoxification. So, the next time you survive drinking an alcoholic beverage,
definitely thank your smooth ER! So far, plant and animal cells have tackled
their problems in very similar ways, but here’s where we’re going to start to
diverge a little bit. Both cell types use vacuoles for storage, but they differ in
the specifics. Plant cells have a large central vacuole, and when it’s full, it
helps to provide support to the cell by creating turgor pressure. This is why, if
you forget to water a plant for a few days, it gets all droopy and wilts,
but if you finally water it, it tends to perk right back up.
Animal cells can have either many small vacuoles, or none at all, and they only
use them for storage rather than support. Plant and animal cells continue to
differ in terms of how they obtain energy. Both cell types are capable of
undergoing cellular respiration, which they perform using mitochondria. Most of
the time plants perform photosynthesis in order to harvest energy from the Sun.
However, they do do cellular respiration when they’re only seedlings and don’t
have any leaves yet. Animal cells can’t photosynthesize at all, so they use
cellular respiration to obtain energy. Scientists believe that both
chloroplasts and mitochondria were originally bacteria that were ingested
by early cells. We call this the Endosymbiotic Theory. Both plant and
animal cells use mitosis for somatic cells and meiosis for sex cells. Each
cell type has specializations that assist with the division process. Animal
cells have centrioles that initiate spindle fiber formation. Plants don’t
have centrioles, but they do have vesicles that deliver cell wall
components along the cell plate. This separates the newly forming cells when
it comes to maintaining cell shape. Plant and animal cells have very different
strategies. Plants use their large central vacuole to create turgor
pressure and use that in conjunction with their supportive cell walls. The
cell walls are usually made of cellulose, which is what makes plants crunchy.
Animal cells are more squishy, so they rely on a protein scaffolding called the
cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is produced by organelles called
centrosomes, which my students always say look like “churros”. (I totally agree but
they’re probably a lot less delicious!) All living things produce waste, but
plant and animal cells have different methods for getting rid of it. In animal
cells, enzyme-filled sacs called lysosomes degrade waste products. They
also perform a process called exocytosis, where a waste filled vesicle docks up
against the cell membrane and releases its contents. Plants don’t have lysosomes
but they can release gasses via transpiration through their stomata. They can also use enzymes called proteases to degrade proteins, although
these are not well understood. Finally, cell to cell communication presents some
unique challenges for each cell type. Plants often communicate through
plasmodesmata; tiny channels in the cell wall. But
because animal tissues are so diverse, they need
multiple methods of communication. A few examples include endocytosis, exocytosis,
and gap junctions, although the details are outside the scope of this video. Okay,
that was definitely a lot of content, so here’s a recap. Plant and animal cells
are very different from one another, but also have a lot of processes in common.
They maintain their internal environment, store, and pass on genetic information,
create proteins, and move items around the cell in much the same ways. They also
contain organelles that allow them to store items, and obtain energy in related
ways. When it comes time to divide, maintain cell shape, remove waste, or
communicate from cell to cell plants and animals require different
organelles to get the job done. That’s it for this week! if you found this video
useful, I hope you’ll consider checking out some of my other work, or looking at
some of my other materials on Twitter and Instagram. Thanks again for watching,
and please remember to subscribe!

35 thoughts on “Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells: Compare & Contrast!

  1. Awesome video. The only thing i ask is maybe a little more of the differences! Definitely thumbs upping this!

  2. I have a science exam tomorrow for chemistry biology and physics so this was a good video quick and to the point

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