What Structures Do Human Epithelial Cells Have in Common With Elodea Cells?

Human epithelial cells, which are animal cells, and elodea cells, which are plant cells, share many structures because both are eukaryotic cells, or cells with a membrane-bound nucleus. Common structures in animal and plant cells include the nucleus, cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus, microtubules/microfilaments and in some organisms flagella.

Plant cells have several structures not present in animal cells, such as a rigid cell wall made of cellulose, chloroplasts for photosynthesis and a large central vacuole for the transportation of water. The animal cell has a cell membrane to contain the material of the cell, rather than a cell wall, though the plant cell has both. Animal cells contain several structures not common to plants as well, including lysosomes, or sacs of enzymes that digest cellular material.

Animal and plant cells' common structures include a nucleus containing DNA bound by a membrane, along with many other structures. Cytoplasm, for example, is the gel-like substance inside a cell, while the endoplasmic reticulum are extensive systems of membranes, some with ribosomes and some without. Ribosomes consist of RNA and proteins and are in charge of assembling proteins. The Golgi apparatus manufactures, stores and ships cellular products. Responsible for cell respiration, mitochondria also create energy. Providing support for the cell, microtubules consist of hollow rods. Though only occasionally found in plant cells, flagella are whip-like appendages that help a cell move.