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How Do the Cells Of Plants Differ From Those Of Animals?
  • Plant cells have the general features common to all eukaryotic cells, but possess some
  • additional structures not found in animal cells.

  • The cell wall is a supporting structure that surrounds plant cells.

    • The cell wall is made of cellulose fibrils plus a few other macromolecules, such as pectin.

    • Adjacent cells are connected by plasmodesmata that extend through the cell walls.

  • The central vacuole stores a variety of molecules and creates turgor pressure.

  • Plastids are organelles unique to plant cells.

  • Many plant cell structures are visible in this electron micrograph of a spinach cell.

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What Is Photosynthesis And How Does It Work?

    • Within thylakoid membranes, two photosystems utilize electron transport chains to produce ATP and NADPH.

    • The ATP is produced by a gradient of hydrogen ions and ATP-synthase, as in respiration.

  • Light-independent reactions use NADPH and ATP to fix carbon dioxide, resulting in the production of sugars.

    • Carbon dioxide is incorporated into an organic molecule as the first step in the Calvin cycle.

    • Glucose resulting from the Calvin cycle may be utilized within the cell, stored as starch, or transported elsewhere within the plant.

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What Are Some Additional Ways In Which Plant Cells Differ From Other Cells?

  • Osmotic forces have different consequences in plant vs. animal cells.

  • The way in which cells are held together differs in plant vs. animal cells.

  • The cytoplasm is more likely to be in motion within plant cells.
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