|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|
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
What are some of the many jobs that plant cells
If you enjoy questions like this, you might be
interested in a career in botany, plant ecology,
or cell biology.
Thanks for asking.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.