Are plants multicellular?
The answer is a resounding yes. Because plants are made of multiple cells. And each cell has a very particular job to complete.
All the cells have organelles that do a specific task to help the cell function. To give an example, the nucleus controls what’s going on inside the cell, while chloroplast deals with using sunlight to create food for the plant. And there’s also a nuclear membrane to keep all the organelles together.
Now, all the cells can communicate between them to keep the plants growing and surviving. And since each of them has unique specialties, they can be a bit difficult to understand initially.
Nevertheless, overall, it can be said without any doubt that plants are multicellular.
How Plants Grow And the Cell Division Process
As we’re aware already, multicellular organisms like plants grow by dividing their cells. But what is cell division? It’s a very special process where a cell splits into two or more cells. This method of cell division is absolutely vital for the continuous growth of plants. Plant cells can split up in various ways, which will be decided by the nature of the cell.
However, most cells use the mitosis method for cell division. That said, some can use miosis as well. DNA has a vital role in the cell division process as the cell starts to divide only when the DNA is replicated. In the initial stage, the chromosomes will come and take place in the center. After that, the cell will split into 2 parts. Both parts will contain a chromosome each. The spindle fibers in plant cells play an important role in ensuring that the genetic content remains separate. Then, a new cell gets birth from each of them.
It’s important to note that, cell division is no arbitrary process, and is closely controlled by the plant itself. The cells go through the division only when it’s required. Uncontrolled cell production by division will give rise to many problems and diseases.
Plant Cell Structure
When it comes to the structure of plant cells, you’ll find it quite complex. It has many unique features that sets it apart from other types of cells.
Anatomy of a plant cell:
The cell wall is a strong, rigid layer that protects it from damage. This part of the cell also comes in handy when maintaining the cell shape. It also becomes useful in controlling the nature of molecules getting inside and out of the cell. The wall is porous and facilitates the passage of small molecules, including water, oxygen, and nutrients. It allows plants to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
The elements of the plant cell wall feature cellulose, pectin, cross-linking glycan, plasma membrane, cellulose microfibrils.
You can find Chloroplasts in green plants. These are crucial for the photosynthesis process that makes it possible for the plants to create their own food. An important thing is the density of chloroplasts as they’ll dictate the amount of photosynthesis that takes place. Chloroplasts contain inner membrane, stroma, stroma lamellae, outer membrane, granum, and thylakoid.
The endoplasmic reticulum a network of membrane-bound chambers that are key for cellular function. It also takes part in processing and transporting several biochemical compounds inside and outside of the cell.
You’ll find this round organelle in all the plant cells without any exception. The duty of Nucleus is to control all the activities within the cell, including important tasks such as reproduction and cell division. You’ll find contents Chromatin, Nucleolus, Ribosomes, Endoplasmic reticulum in nucleus.
It is a thin, barrier that’s quite flexible as well. It borders the cells of all the plants. The plasma membrane kinda works like a guard, as it controls what will go in and out of the cell. It’s made with phospholipid bilayer, with proteins embedded in it.
Comparison Between Unicellular and Multicellular Organisms
There are many differences between them. We’ll discuss these differences here.
Number of Cells
The main difference between unicellular and multicellular organisms is the number of cells they contain.
Unicellular organisms are single-celled, on the other hand, multicellular organisms are composed of many cells.
Multicellular organisms are more complex, and can carry out more complex functions than unicellular organisms.
For example, multicellular organisms can move, whereas unicellular organisms generally cannot.
Multicellular organisms can also have specialized cells that perform specific functions, whereas unicellular organisms usually do not.
Multicellular organisms are generally larger than unicellular organisms.
Are There Any Advantages of being Multicellular?
Yes, there are numerous advantages. They are:
Helps with efficient nutrient uptake
multicellularity allows for a greater surface area to volume ratio, which means that there is more surface area available for the absorption of nutrients.
The ability to specialize in different functions
Some cells may be specialized for the absorption of nutrients while others are specialized for the excretion of waste products. This division of labor makes the entire system more efficient.
Protection from predators and the environment
Multicellularity offers protection as specialized cells can form barrier tissues that protect the organism as a whole. And individual cells are less likely to be damaged or destroyed when surrounded by other cells. It also enables organisms to grow much larger than single cells, which increases their chances of survival in a tough environment.