Internal Structures of a Plant Cell

·         The Nucleus

§  Spherical body containing a nucleolus

§  Surrounded by the nuclear membrane

§  Contains DNA (genetic material in chromosomes)

·         Nucleolus

§  An organelle within the nucleus where ribosomal RNA is produced

§  It controls many of the functions of the cell (by controlling protein synthesis)

·         Centrosome

§  It is a small body located near the nucleus that forms and organizes microtubules

§  Microtubules are important in cell division (mitosis)

·         Ribosomes

§  Are small organelles composed of RNA-rich cytoplasmic granules that are sites of protein synthesis

·         Endoplasmic Reticulum

§  Endoplasmic reticulum is a system of interconnected, membranous, infolded and convoluted sacks located in cytoplasm (the ER is continuous with the outer nuclear membrane)

§  It transports materials through the cell and produces proteins

§  Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum are smooth (i.e. no ribosomes on surface)

§  Contains enzymes and produces and digests lipids (fats) and membrane proteins

·         Golgi Complex: (i.e. Golgi apparatus or Golgi body)

§  Is a flattened, layered, sac-like organelle that looks like a stack of pancakes, located near the nucleus

§  It packages and transports materials (proteins and carbohydrates) to different locations inside/outside cell

·         Mitochondria

§  Spherical to rod-shaped organelles with a double membrane that generates energy for the cell

·         Plastids

§  Are structures responsible for photosynthesis, storage of products like starch and for the synthesis of many classes of molecules such as fatty acids etc. needed as cellular building blocks and/or for the function of the plant. There several types; proplastids, etioplasts, chloroplasts, chromoplasts, leucoplasts and leucoplasts specialized for different functions in the plant body.

·         Vacuoles

§  Are regions bound by membrane and filled with cell sap and surrounded by the tonoplast

§  In mature living cells may compose 90 – 95% of cell volume

§  Storagesite for variety of (ergastic) substances such as:

§  Water

§  Enzymes and other proteins

§  Water-soluble pigments (e.g. red and blue anthocyanins)

§  Toxic alkaloids, tannins

§  Lipids 

§  Crystals (calcium oxalate, calcium carbonate, silicon dioxide)

§  Organic acids (oxalate, malate)

Macro Photography of Bubble Coral


Evans, W. C. (2009). Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. India: Reed Elsevier Limited.

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