The over 260,000 species of plants are all made up of cells. Plant cells have a regular shape, which makes them easy to tell apart from animal cells. These cells link to form the structure of the plant.
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Plant cells have rigid cell walls. This component of a plant cell gives the cells their shape. Cell walls are made up of cellulose, which humans cannot digest. These walls are visible under a microscope and resemble a thick outline around the plant cells.
Plant cells contain a special organelle called a chloroplast. Chloroplasts contain pigments that absorb sunlight and turn it into energy. The ability to make their own food makes plant cells unique among cell types.
Most plant cells do not have centrioles, lysosomes, filaments, cilia or flagella, which are found in animal cells. Plant cells contain special structures including central vacuoles, plasmodesmata, cell walls and chloroplasts.
Plasmodesmata structures are tunnels that connect the plant cells. These structures resemble doorways through the cell walls and allow molecules to pass from one cell to another.
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