Interesting Facts about Plant Cells

By Eileen Rivera
Leaves take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sean McGrath

Plants manufacture their own food, which makes them unique among living organisms. Plants' cells are designed to support the function of food production.

Features

The structure of a plant cell resembles animal cell structure with three significant differences. Plant cells have a rigid cell wall, chloroplasts and a vacuole.

Function

The rigid cell walls give the plant a defined shape and keep the cells from enlarging with water intake. The vacuole maintains rigidity in the plant and is the storage vessel for the cell's waste. Chloroplasts are the organelles (mini-organs) in the cell where photosynthesis takes place.

Facts

Plants manufacture their food through the process of photosynthesis, in which energy harvested from the sun is used, by the plant, to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars and carbohydrates.

Significance

Sugars and carbohydrates are the fuel for the cells of living organisms. Without the specialized structures in the plant cell, plants would not have a shape nor would they manufacture food.

Fun Fact

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Thomas Shahan

A plant will use about one-sixth of the energy it harvests from the sun for itself. The remaining harvested energy is stored in glucose until eaten by animals or humans.

About the Author

Eileen Rivera holds an Associate of Arts and is working on her bachelor's degree studies with the ultimate goal of becoming a physician assistant. Her previous work experience includes project management for a major health-care insurer. She has been published in the Beckett Guide of Phone Apps and is a current contributor for various websites.