How Do Plant Cells Work?

Plant cells work using large amounts of carbohydrates and water with cellular machinery that allows them to process various compounds, particularly inorganic nitrogen compounds, explains Florida State University. Plant cells maintain their structure with the use of a tough cellulose cell wall kept in tension from the pressure of a large, water-filled vacuole. Plant cells lack internal protein cytoskeletons, lysosomes and other structures typical of animal cells.

Plant cells are well known for their ability to photosynthesize, creating carbohydrate from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen in the process, but this is a process only carried out in the leaves and the exteriors of some stems. Many cells in plants do not perform photosynthesis. Every plant cell, however, varies greatly from fungal cells, and even more from animal cells, the other two major types of multicellular eukaryotes.

That said, plant cells are still eukaryotes and share many features in common with the other types. This includes membrane-bound organelles, most notably the nucleus. Vacuoles are also found in the other types of cell, but the vacuoles of plant cells are relatively huge, often taking up much of the volume of a cell. Their method of maintaining their structure with these vacuoles is why water-deprived plants wilt.