Unit 2 AQA Biology - Plant cell structure

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Plant Cell Structure
This unit develops the knowledge gained in both GCSE and Unit One of AS ­ the basic
structure of an animal cell. Plant cells like animal cells have a Nucleus, mitochondria, cell
membrane and cytoplasm. They also contain:
A Cell Wall: - a tough layer made of cellulose, which surrounds plant cells.
A Vacuole: - a large, membrane-bound organelle, which usually contains fluid.
Chloroplasts: organelles that contain chlorophyll and that are the site of photosynthesis
People keep talking about palisade cells ­ what is it?
Palisade cells are typical plant cells; they are found in leaves and are adapted for
Adaptions in plant cells:
Root Hair cell: projects into the soil and provides a large
surface area for the absorption of water and mineral ions.
Endodermal cell
with Casparian
strip: controls the
entry of water and

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Xylem: specialised conducting cells, with strengthened walls
and hollow ends that provide a continuous pathway for
water transport
Phloem: transports sugars and other organic materials
around the plamt.
Guard cell: can change
shape to open or close the
The cell wall:
The cell wall is secreted by the plant cell
itself. As you can see in the image, the long
cellulose molecules are arranged into
microfibrils, which become cemented into
the cell wall using `glue' that consists of
hemicelluloses (short chains of glucose
molecules).…read more

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Chloroplasts are organelles that contain all the pigments, enzymes and other substances
needed for photosynthesis. They are found mainly in the palisade cells of the leaf. Key
features include:
A large internal surface area so that as much chlorophyll as possible comes into
contact with light
A flattened shape to enable rapid diffusion of substances in and out.…read more


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