Organelles Found in Both Plant & Bacterial Cells

By Melanie Fleury
A sticky coating on bacteria is what makes them hard to kill.

Bacteria are considered some of the least complicated forms of life. Bacterial organelles are not enclosed in a membrane as plant cells are. Instead, they float around in a jelly-like substance called cytoplasm inside of the bacterial cell. Plant cells are much more complex and have several organelles that bacteria do not. Plant cells and bacteria cells, however, do have a few organelles in common.

Cell Wall

Both bacteria and plant cells have a cell wall. The cell wall is the outer layer of the cell. It is a tough but flexible layer that gives structural support as well as protection to the cell. It also filters things from getting into the cell. In plants, cellulose forms the most rigid part of the wall, and in bacteria, the wall is made of peptidoglycan. In order to kill bacteria, the cell wall has to be weakened. Penicillin is one drug that is able to weaken the cell wall enough to damage the bacteria and kill it.

Cell Membrane

Cell membranes exist in both plant and bacteria cells. In both plants and bacteria, the cell membrane helps provide shape to the cell. It also acts a barrier from larger molecules getting into the cell. Some bacteria contain a plasma membrane and outer membrane that are separated by periplasmic space. The membrane is able to regulate what goes in and out of the cell depending on what that cell needs to survive.


Ribosomes create proteins and the RNA that represents protein in a cell. Ribosomes can have many structures and different RNA sequences. Antibiotics are created to destroy certain types of RNA sequences, such as bacterial RNA. This is why one can take an antibiotic and it only kills the bacteria cells, not the human cells. In bacteria, the ribosomes are free, which means they can move around in the cell. Plant cells have ribosomes that are bound, which means that they are surrounded by a membrane inside of the cell.

Nuclear Material

Nuclear material exists in both plant and animal cells. This nuclear material, DNA, is the hereditary information of the cell. In bacteria, this nuclear material is located in the nucleoid. The nucleoid has no membrane around it and is irregularly shaped. In plant cells, the nuclear material is enclosed in the nucleus.

About the Author

Melanie Fleury has been writing professionally since 1995. She has written for various educational websites such as and is the educational consultant at the Knowledge Tree Center for Education. She enjoys creating curriculum for children with various learning styles. Fleury holds a master's degree in education specializing in early childhood from Ashwood University.