SPM Biology Form 4 Notes – Terminology and Concepts: Cell Structure and Cell Organisation (Part I)

by BerryBerryTeacher

in Berry Reference (Notes)

Still not put off by the introduction to biology? Well, then continue on to appreciate the beauty of life starting with the basic structural and functional unit of all living organism, cells. This post by the Berry Berry Teacher will be very useful for the understanding of cells, inclusive of structure and organisation. This is also part 1 of the series involving cells. Be sure to compare and contrast the animal and plant cells if you want to understand cells.

SPM Form 4 – Terminology and Concepts: Cell Structure and Cell Organisation

Neuron cell

Neuron cell

Cell Structure and Function

Comparison between Animal Cell (AC) and Plant Cell (PC)

1. Mitochondrion (pl: Mitochondria): AC and PC

  • spherical / rod-shaped organelles
  • two membranes: Inner membrane – form cristae & Outer membrane – regular and smooth
  • an energy source
  • site of cellular aerobic respiration
  • produces ATP (adenosine triphosphate)

2. Nucleus (pl: Nuclei): AC and PC

  • contains the genetic material
  • regulates and controls the activities of the cell
  • an organelle bounded by double (2) layers of nuclear membrane with pores and selectively permeable
  • responsible for all cellular structure, chemical functions, growth and reproduction
  • separates the genetic materials (chromatin) from cytoplasm

3. Nucleolus: AC and PC

  • spherical structure within the nucleus
  • consists of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) and proteins
  • visible when the cell is not dividing
  • synthesis RNA which is needed to make ribosomes

4. Nucleoplasm: AC and PC

  • fluid contained within the nucleus
  • highly viscous solid
  • made up of the chromatin and the nucleolus

5. Chromosomes

  • thread-like structures (consists of genetic material)
  • appears as chromatin spread throughout the nucleus in the form of tiny granules
  • chromatin condenses into chromosomes (during cell division)
  • carry genetic information in its DNA

6. Ribosomes: Ac and PC

  • small dot-like organelles
  • protein synthesis
  • consist of RNA (ribonucleic acids)
  • smallest cellular organelles
  • attached on the surface of ER and occur freely in cytoplasm

7. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER): AC and PC

  • connected to the nuclear membrane
  • synthesises proteins, steroids and lipids
  • collects, stores and distributes protein, steroids and lipids
  • exists as rough ER and smooth ER
  • Rough ER: covered with ribosomes, flat sealed sac which continued from the nuclear membrane, transports protein, and have a large surface area for chemical reactions.
  • Smooth ER: does not have ribosomes, transports lipids and presents in large amounts of cells.

8. Plasma membrane: AC and PC

  • cell membrane
  • thin membrane surround the cytoplasm of a cell
  • selectively permeable / semi permeable
  • a protective and selective outer barrier
  • consists of phospholipids and protein molecules

To be continued.. Upcoming post involves – Golgi apparatus/body, Cytoplasm, Lysosome, Centriole, Vacuole, Cell wall, Chloroplast.


  • AC and PC = similarities
  • AC or PC = differences (Carbohydrates storage: AC = Glycogen / PC = Starch)

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