Plasmodesma

Because the plasma membrane is not directly exposed to the plant cell’s environment, gaps are needed in the cell wall to allow larger molecules to move. These channels are called plasmodesmata.

Structure

Plant cells do not have gap junctions like animal cells. Instead, they have plasmodesmata (derived from the Greek word desmos ‘to bind’), which are porous connections from one plant cell to another through their cell walls. A cell’s cytosol may cross into adjacent cells through these channels.

Function

Water and other smaller molecules–sometimes even proteins and RNA–can cross membranes through the plasmodesmata, thus facilitating the exchange of necessary nutrients and molecules throughout the plant.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s