Ever imagined what life would be without cells? Life would possibly not exist. There is absolutely no substitute for cells, even with the prevailing advancement in the fields of science and technology. We all know that cells form the building blocks of life and are structural and functional units of living entities, but there are many interesting facets to cells in plants and animals that differ in their structure and function and are still unexplored by many of us. Through this article, you get enlightened about 5 such fascinating facts about plants and animal cells that you likely never came across.
Plant Cells And Animal Cells
- Plant cells form the basis of life for every living entity
Yes, almost all of the ongoing life processes can be attributed to plant cells. Plants are the primary producers and both animals and humans directly or indirectly depend upon plants for food requirements (refer to the food chain). Plants are able to produce their own food through photosynthesis carried out by plant cells (chloroplasts). Hence we can safely say we are all reliant on plant cells.
- Animal cells are capable of cellular suicide
There are phases when an animal cell is damaged and is in a state where it is irremediable. In such situations, where it can no longer carry out basic functionalities, animal cells have the ability to self destruct. This process is termed as apoptosis or cellular suicide. This programmed process of cell death labors as a healthy and protective role and is required to destroy unwanted cells
- The lifespan of cells is decided by telomers
We know that a cell divides through the process of mitosis and undergoes a series of multiplications. For each of the cell division process, the length of the telomere is shortened and decides the longevity of a cell. Telomeres are the connected sequences of nucleotides located at the end of each chromosome, which shield the chromosomal end from unwanted fusion and destruction. As per studies, a cell has the potential to undergo about 50-60 divisions, post which it goes through the phase of senescence and dies through programmed cell death. The lifespan of a cell may also be affected by factors such as health, nutrition, stress, etc.
- Cells can eat by themselves
Through a process of cell eating known as phagocytosis, cells can feed by themselves. Types of white blood cells such as neutrophils and macrophages, swallow up toxins or harmful bacteria in the body. Macrophages can eat up pathogenic microbes in tissues of the body while neutrophils can engulf harmful bacteria in the bloodstream. Once ingested by these cells, the pathogens are digested via the enzymatic action of lysosomes thus forming a significant defense mechanism of the body.
- Cytoplasmic streaming for movement of fluids
Cytoplasm moves inside the cell and is not stationary. Cytoplasmic streaming or cyclosis is strongly governed by pH level and temperature. It is typically observed in large plant and animal cells and is driven by forces of the cytoskeleton.
A cluster of these cells in plants and animals, that are similar in structure and function go on to form the tissues of the body which constitutes the next level of organization. In animals, it is known as the animal tissue. These tissues are a group of cells collectively performing a specific function. In animals, they may vary in their origin, structure, and function and hence can be classified further into four types of tissues, namely:
- Connective tissue
- Epithelial tissue
- Muscular tissue
- Nervous tissue
Animal tissues greatly vary in their functionality. Discover more about the plant cell and animal cell for K10 level and much more by subscribing to BYJU’S YouTube Channel.