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Are plant cells rectangular or circular? I get confused on them. They aren't hard to understand, but they ARE definitely confusing. Thank You all who answer my question. Love sent out to all.
Question Date: 2014-08-14
Answer 1:

Plant cells come in all different shapes, depending on the jobs they do. I can guess why you’re confused. Book authors want to include pictures of cells, but they usually have one drawing to represent all cells. They usually draw an animal cell as a ball and a plant cell that’s sort of a cube or ocoto. Imagine that you had to draw one plant to represent all plants. What would you draw? An apuntia cactus? A giant redwood? A tomato plant? A California poppy? All of these plants are very different because of their environments. Plant cells are different shapes because they are in different places in the plant and do different jobs. Animal cells have many shapes too, not just the ball shape shown in most books.

What are some of the many jobs that plant cells do?

If you enjoy questions like this, you might be interested in a career in botany, plant ecology, or cell biology.

Thanks for asking.

Answer 2:

Often represented in 2D (like in your textbook) plant cells appear rectangular. In actuality, they are mostly rectangular cubes! Plant cells, unlike animal cells, have a cell wall that is made of cellulose and gives them a cuboidal as opposed to spherical structure. Plant cells are not however, uniformly rectangular cubes, different cell types in the plant have different shapes. For example, they can be long and cylindrical like a straw, or short and hexagonal. Interestingly, unlike animal cells, plant cells tend to have openings between the cells called a plasmodesmota. These openings allow plant cells to communicate.

Answer 3:

There is no rule that applies to all cell types, but plant cells have cell walls and are joined to other cells through these walls, which forces the cells to have a box-like shape that under a microscope appears rectangular (they're really more like elongated cubes). This is because they are joined together.

Think, for example: you can't pack marbles without spaces between them, because marbles are round, but you can stack cubes without spaces between them. Plant cells are joined to other plant cells on all sides of the cell, so there are no spaces between them, which means that they have to be more cube-like.

Answer 4:

Plant cells can actually be many shapes! Think about packing the cells together. Sometimes they will be round, or hexagons (like a soccer ball). Other times they may be square. It depends on the requirements of the cell and where it is located in the plant. Onion skin cells aren't round or square, for example, they look like this onion cells. The most important think about plant cells are the cell wall structural support, and the chloroplasts. That is how you can tell the difference between plant and animal cells.

Human cells have many many different shapes too, from neurons neurons to skin cells skin cells (false color image) and everything in between.

It's very difficult to identify cells without knowing in advance where they are from, I agree with you. The real key point to remember is that cells shape and structure is determined by what they have to do in the organism.

If your classroom has a microscope you can even look at some of these cells from different places and see how different they can be.

Answer 5:

Plant cells come in all shapes and sizes. Some are round, some are brick shaped, others look like shoe strings. The one thing they have in common is a rigid cell wall. This means that they cannot change shape very easily. It also provides structural support (why wood is hard, etc.) Animal cells on the other hand are more mobile and fluid without a cell wall so they can change shape relatively easily.


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