AQA GCSE Biology

Revision Notes

1.1.2 Animal & Plant Cells

Subcellular Structures

  • Eukaryotic cells have subcellular structures, each carrying out a particular function
  • Organelles are subcellular ‘compartments’ where specific processes take place within the cell

 

Animal Cells

  • The main subcellular structures in animal cells are:
    • The nucleus
    • Cell membranes
    • Mitochondria
    • Ribosomes
    • Cytoplasm

Structures in an animal cell visible under a light microscope & an electron microscope, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Some cellular structures can only be seen when viewed with an electron microscope

Cell structures table

Cell structures table, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Plant Cells

  • In addition to the subcellular parts found in animal cells, plant cells have:
    • A cell wall made of cellulose (algal cells also have this structural feature)
    • A permanent vacuole filled with cell sap
  • Plant cells found in the leaf and stem may also contain chloroplasts

 

Structures in a plant cell visible under a light microscope & an electron microscope, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

The plant cell shown above contains chloroplasts, so it would be found in the leaves of a plant

 

Plant cell structure & function table

Plant cell structure & function table, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

 

Exam Tip

You need to be able to recognise, draw and interpret images of cells, so practice drawing and labelling animal and plant cells as part of your revision.

 

Author: Jenna

Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.
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