Ribosomes : Ribosomes are packets of RNA and protein that play a crucial role in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. They are the site of protein synthesis. Each ribosome comprises two parts, a large subunit and a small subunit. Messenger RNA from the cell nucleus is moved systematically along the ribosome where transfer RNA adds individual amino acid molecules to the lengthening protein chain.
Vacuoles are large, liquid-filled organelles found only in plant cells. Vacuoles can occupy up to 90% of a cell's volume and have a single membrane. Their main function is as a space-filler in the cell, but they can also fill digestive functions similar to lysosomes (which are also present in plant cells). Vacuoles contain a number of enzymes that perform diverse functions, and their interiors can be used as storage for nutrients or, as mentioned, provide a place to degrade unwanted substances.
Finally, some organs work together to form an organ system such as the digestive system.
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For life all cells have basic needs. Cells have diverged in their structure and function to accommodate these survival requirements. Here are some KEY TERMS to help you think, explore and search for similarities and significant differences that have become the characteristics of eukaryote (animal, plant) and prokaryotic (bacteria) cells. Examples might be searching: eukaryote prokaryote reproduction or animal plant cell energy.
For additional information on mitosis in plant and animal cells, or prokaryotic cell division, see our Cell Division 1 CD-ROM.