Question Video: Determining the Organelle That Surrounds the Plant Cell to Provide Structure and Support to the Cell Biology

State the organelle being described: Only found in plant cells, this is a layer made of cellulose that surrounds the cell to provide structure and support.

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Video Transcript

State the organelle being described: Only found in plant cells, this is a layer made of cellulose that surrounds the cell to provide structure and support.

This question is asking us to identify the organelle or subcellular structure being described in the prompt. It must be exclusive to plant cells, found on the outside of the cell, and it must provide structure and support to the cell. In order to answer this question, first we’ll draw and label a plant cell. Then we’ll identify the parts that are only found in plant cells. And then we’ll be able to choose our answer.

Here’s a simplified diagram of a plant cell. Let’s label what we see. The plant cell has a cell membrane, which defines the boundary of the cell and controls what enters and what leaves. The plant cell contains cytoplasm, a jellylike fluid that fills the internal space of the cell. The plant cell contains ribosomes, tiny organelles that are the site of protein synthesis. We also see several mitochondria, bean-shaped organelles that are the site of cellular respiration. The plant cell also contains a nucleus, an organelle which stores and protects the genetic material or DNA.

In addition to the structures we listed, the plant cell possesses a cell wall, a rigid outer layer that provides structure and support. It possesses several chloroplasts, organelles that give the plant its green color and are the site of photosynthesis. The plant cell also possesses a large central vacuole, an organelle that provides both storage and structure to the plant cell. Well, we’ve labeled all the parts of our cell.

Let’s recall that our question is looking for an organelle that’s only found in plant cells. All of these organelles to the right are found in both plants and animal cells, while the ones on the left are only found in plant cells. So the correct response must be cell wall, chloroplast, or central vacuole. Of these three, the layer that surrounds the cell to provide structure and support is the cell wall.

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