Types of Plant Cells
Plant cells are eukaryotic cells
that are similar to animal cells
. As a plant
matures, its cells become specialized. There are a number of important specialized types of plant cells
. Some examples of specialized plant cells include:
- Parenchyma Cells
Parenchyma cells are usually depicted as the typical plant cell because they are not very specialized. These cells synthesize and store organic products in the plant. Most of the plant's metabolism takes place in these cells.
- Collenchyma Cells
Collenchyma cells have a support function in plants, particularly in young plants. These cells help to support plants while not restraining growth due to their lack of secondary walls and the absence of a hardening agent in their primary walls.
- Sclerenchyma Cells
Sclerenchyma cells also have a support function in plants but unlike collenchyma cells, they have a hardening agent and are much more rigid.
- Water Conducting Cells
Water conducting cells of xylem also have a support function in plants but unlike collenchyma cells, they have a hardening agent and are much more rigid.
- Sieve Tube Members
Sieve tube members of phloem conduct organic nutrients such as sugar throughout the plant.
Plant Cells and Tissues
For additional information on plant cells, tissues, and photosynthesis, see:
- Plant Tissue Systems - Plant tissues can be simple, consisting of a single cell type, or complex, consisting of more than one cell type.
- Plant Cell Quiz - Test your knowledge of plant cells and tissues.
- Photosynthesis - Plants absorb energy from sunlight and use it to produce sugar and other organic compounds.