Cell differentiation and Specialisation (Specialised cells are cells that…
Cell differentiation and Specialisation
Cells have different structures to carry out different functions.
Specialised cells are cells that carry out a specific function.
The process by which cells change to become specialised is called differentiation.
As cells change, they develop different subcellular structures and turn into different types of cells which allow them to carry out specific functions.
Most differentiation occurs as an organism develops.
Most animal cells can only differentiate at an early stage in the animal's life.
Lots of plant cells can differentiate for the whole of the plant's life.
Cells that differentiate in adult animals are mainly used for repairing and replacing cells.
Some cells are undifferentiated - called Stem cells.
Examples of specialised cells
Sperm cells take the Male DNA to the egg
Sperm cell has a tail to help it swim to the egg
it has a lot of mitochondria to provide energy for swimming.
Nerve Cells carry electrical signals around the body
Nerve cells are long to cover more distance in the body.
They have branches at the end to connect to other nerve cells.
Muscle cells contract
Muscle cells are long so they have space to contract.
They have lots of mitochondria to provide energy for contracting.
Root Hair Cells absorb water and minerals
Root hair cells grow into long hairs that stick out into the soil giving plant a big surface area to absorb water and mineral ions.
Phloem cells transport food and xylem cells transport water
Phloem and xylem cells form phloem and xylem tubes
To form the tubes, the cells are long and joined end to end
Xylem cells are hollow and phloem cells have very few subcellular structures, so there is space for stuff to flow through them.