Plant cells

This basic structure of a plant cell is shown below - the same plant cell, as viewed with the light microscope, and with a transmission electron microscope.

A view of cells under a light microscope and an electron microscopeA generalised plant cell and its components.

Animal and plant cells have certain structures in common.

Cell structureHow it is related to its function
CytoplasmA jelly-like material that contains dissolved nutrients and salts and structures called organelles. It is where many of the chemical reactions happen.
NucleusContains genetic material, including DNA, which controls the cell's activities.
Cell membraneIts structure is permeable to some substances but not to others, it therefore controls the movement of substances in and out of the cell.
MitochondriaOrganelles that contain the enzymes for respiration, and where most energy is released in respiration.
RibosomesA tiny organelle where protein synthesis occurs.

Plant cells also have additional structures:

Cell structureHow it is related to its function
ChloroplastOrganelles that contain the green pigment, chlorophyll, which absorbs light energy for photosynthesis. Contains the enzymes needed for photosynthesis.
Cell wallMade from cellulose fibres and strengthens the cell and supports the plant.
Permanent vacuoleFilled with cell sap to help keep the cell turgid.

Animal cells may also have vacuoles, but these are small and temporary. In animals, they are commonly used to store or transport substances.