Plant Cells

Most of the organelles and other parts of the cell just described are common to all eukaryotic cells. However, plant cells have three additional kinds of structures that are extremely important to plant function: cell walls, large central vacuoles, and plastids.

To understand why plant cells have structures not found in animal cells, consider how a plant's lifestyle differs from an animal's. Plants make their own carbon-containing molecules directly from carbon taken in from the environment. Plant cells take carbon dioxide gas from the air, and in a process called photosynthesis, they convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars. The organelles and structures in plant cells are shown in Figure 4-21.

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