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What are the similarities between plant and animal cells?

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Quick Answer

Plant and animal cells have many of the same organelles, they both divide to reproduce, and they share similar basic structure. Scientists cite these similarities as evidence that all life evolved from a common ancestor.

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What are the similarities between plant and animal cells?
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Eukaryotic cells, which are plant and animal cells, contain a nucleus, which distinguishes them from more primitive cells, such as those of bacteria. Inside the nucleus, both plant and animal cells have smaller compartments, called the nucleolus. The nucleolus contains the DNA for the plant or animal, and it serves as a set of instructions for building the various proteins that the organism needs. The DNA is usually clustered into groups called chromosomes.

Plant and animal cells both contain mitochondria. Mitochondria function as the primary energy source for the cell. Mitochondria were probably free-living bacteria that now live symbiotically in plant and animal cells. Vacuoles, used in the transport of resources, are found in both types of cells.

Both plant and animal cells also contain a structure known as the Golgi apparatus, as well as the endoplasmic reticulum. Reproductive plant cells and some animal cells have flagella that they use to move about. While plant cells have cell walls that animal cells lack, both have outer boundaries called cellular membranes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between plant cells vs. animal cells?

    A:

    Plant cells differ from animal cells in three major ways: their components, their function and the structures they build. Plant cells are typically more rigid than animal cells; they do not move, and they are able to synthesize all the chemical compounds needed by the organism. Animal cells must receive at least some of their nutrients from an outside source.

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  • Q:

    What are the differences between plant and animal cells?

    A:

    There are many differences between plant and animal cells, but one of the most obvious differences is that plant cells have a cell wall. Animal cells do not have a cell wall.

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  • Q:

    How do plant and animal cells differ?

    A:

    Plant cells differ from animal cells in their possession of chloroplasts, a cell wall, a large central vacuole and their relative lack of an internal cytoskeleton. Plant cells gain their form and rigidity from the pressure of their large, water-filled vacuoles against their tough cellulose cell walls. Animal cells must rely on protein-based skeletal structures within the cell to maintain their shape.

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  • Q:

    How does cytokinesis differ in animal and plant cells?

    A:

    Cytokinesis is accomplished in animal cells by a narrowing cleavage furrow that pulls inward and eventually splits the cell, while plant cells divide through the formation of a new cell wall that grows outward from the central portion of the cell. Because animal cells have a movable plasma membrane instead of the stiff outer cell wall which plant cells possess, the cleavage furrow can easily pull inward until the cell is physically split. A plant cell's stiff outer wall, however, does not permit this type of pliability, and requires the construction of a new cell wall to divide.

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