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Difference Between Plant and Animal Cells

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Plant and animal cells share some similarities and differences, particularly in the organelles they possess. Despite these differences, both plant and animal cells are classified as eukaryotic cells, which are primarily categorized based on their function. Animal and plant cells are quite different from one another, yet they are also very similar. Based on the presence of organelles in them, they may both be distinguished from one another. 

Given that both plant and animal cells are eukaryotes, they both have a few common cell organelles. All of these organelles are said to have very similar functions. But there are significant differences between plant and animal cells.

What is the Difference Between Plant Cell and Animal cell

Below are some of the main differences between Plant Cells and Animal Cells:


Plant Cell

Animal Cell 

Size Fixed-size, which tends to be bigger. The typical range is between 10 and 100 micrometers. Small and irregular in shape. The range is between 10 and 30 micrometers.
Shape They have a rigid, fixed shape that is often cubical or rectangular. They are shaped obliquely and spherical.
Cell wall Present Absent
Membrane The cell membrane is present. The plasma membrane is present.
Location of nucleus Side of the wall Center of the wall
Mode of nutrition Autotrophic Heterotrophic
Cilia Absent Present
Plastids Present Absent
Centriole Absent Present
Chlorophyll Present Absent
No. of Vacuoles Contain one large vacuole. Have many vacuoles.
Shape of vacuole Large in size Small in size
Food store Available as starch Available as glycogen and complex carbs
Centrosomes Absent Present
Microvilli Absent Present
Mitochondria Present in a few numbers Present in more in number.
Lysosomes Absent  Present

Plant vs Animal Cells Diagram

Plant vs Animal Cells Diagram


What is Plant Cell?

Plant cells are eukaryotic cells with rigid cell walls. It gives the cell protection and the plant its form. It contains a variety of cell organelles, including mitochondria, ribosomes, chloroplasts, cytoplasm, peroxisomes, microtubules, plasmodesmata, smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum, nuclei, nucleoli, the Golgi apparatus, nuclear envelope, plasma membrane, vacuoles, middle lamella, and cell walls.

Plant Cell Structure

Plant Cell Structure


The size and form of plant cells are often cubic or rectangular, and they are typically much larger than animal cells. The cell wall, vacuoles, and plastids, such as chloroplasts, are structural organelles that are also present in plant cells but are absent in animal cells. Animal cells also have features like cilia and flagella, lysosomes, and centrioles that are absent from plant cells.

The usual components of a plant cell include cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin, as well as plastids, which are important for photosynthesis and starch storage, and huge vacuoles, which control the cell turgor pressure. They also have a highly unusual method of cell division in which, during cytokinesis, a complex consisting of microtubules, microfilaments, and the endoplasmic reticulum called the phragmoplast forms to divide the daughter cells. The majority of these organelles resemble animal organelles and carry out due to taking place in animal cells. 

Organelles are responsible for a variety of functions, including generating energy for plant cells as well as hormones and enzymes. Plant cells include DNA that aids in the production of new cells, hence promoting plant development. The nucleus, a membrane-enclosed structure in the cell’s core, contains the DNA. The plant cell also has several organelle structures that serve several purposes including cellular metabolism maintenance, growth, and development.

Characteristics of Plant Cells

Plant cells have several unique characteristics that distinguish them from animal cells. Some of these include:

  • The cell membrane is enclosed in a cell wall in plant cells.
  • Cellulose makes up the walls of plant cells.
  • There are one or more sizable vacuoles in plant cells.
  • All plant cells have cell organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, etc.
  • A distinct nucleus is present, and it is surrounded by a nuclear membrane with two layers.
  • There is a nucleolus.
  • Chromosomes include DNA, RNA, and protein.
  • Each photosynthesis cell has a chloroplast.

What is an Animal Cell?

Eukaryotic cells without a cell wall are known as animal cells. The genetic material of the animal cell is contained in a membrane-bound nucleus made up of chromosomes. Animal cells have many cell organelles that serve a variety of purposes. Golgi apparatus, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, nuclear envelope, nucleolus, nucleus, cytoplasm, rough endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, ribosomes, lysosomes, centriole, plasma membrane, and microvilli are among its components.

Animal Cell Structure

Animal Cell Structure


The animal cell has several structural organelles that are encased in the plasma membrane. These organelles allow the cell to operate properly and trigger host-beneficial actions (animal). An animal’s capacity to move, reproduce, react to stimuli, digest and absorb food, etc., depends on all of its cells working together. Typically, the regular operation of the organism is made possible by the combined efforts of all animal cells.

Characteristics of Animal Cells

Plant cells have several unique characteristics that distinguish them from animal cells. Some of these include:

  • Organelles that are membrane-bound and have a nucleus are found in animal cells.
    Animal cells don’t have a cell wall.
  • An animal cell’s plasma membrane is permeable Animal cells nearly usually have a “true” nucleus. A nuclear envelope, chromatin, and a nucleus make up a nucleus.
  • The inside space of an animal cell that isn’t occupied by a nucleus or organelle is called the cytoplasm. The cytosol, which is made up of a jelly-like fluid, permits organelles and other cellular components to move around the cell as needed.


Animal and plant cells are said to as eukaryotic since they include a real nucleus. The bulk of higher animals and plants on earth are eukaryotes, which includes all plants and bacteria. Membrane-bound organelles in both plant and animal cells include the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, the nucleus, the Golgi apparatus, and lysosomes. Additionally, a plant cell may be bigger than an animal cell.

FAQs on Difference Between Plant and Animal Cell

Q1. Write any Two Characteristics of a Plant Cell.


Characteristic of a plant cell:

  • Cellulose makes up the walls of plant cells.
  • All plant cells have cell organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, etc.

Q2. Why are Plant Cells often Larger than Animal Cells? 


Plant cells feature a large central vacuole that occupies most of the space and causes the cell to enlarge. This vacuole is often either absent or very tiny in size in animal cells.

Q3. Write similarities between Animal and Plant Cells.


Similarities between animal and plant cells:

  1. Animal and plant cells both have nucleolus.
  2. The powerhouse of cells, the mitochondrion, is present in both plant and animal cells.
  3. Animal and plant cells both have Golgi bodies, Golgi complexes, and Golgi apparatuses.
  4. Animal and plant cells both include endoplasmic reticulum (ER)

Q4. What are the Cell Organelles found in both Animal and Plant Cells that are similar?


The nucleus, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, cytoplasm, and peroxisomes are only a few membrane-bound organelles that are present in each of them.

Q5. Which cell organelle is responsible for carrying out photosynthesis in plant cells?


Chloroplasts are responsible for carrying out the process of photosynthesis in a plant cell.

Q6. Which cell organelle is responsible for providing structural support for plant cells apart from the cell wall?


The plant cell receives structural support from the central vacuole.

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Last Updated : 24 May, 2023
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