Edexcel International A Level Biology

Revision Notes

4.2 Electron Microscopy of Plant Cells

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Electron Microscopy of Plant Cells

  • It is important to be able to recognise various plant organelles from electron microscope images
    • Chloroplast
      • Has distinctive stacks of thylakoids
      • Double membrane
      • Has a roughly oval shape
      • Larger than mitochondria
      • Indicates the cell is a plant cell
    • Nucleus
      • Has a nuclear membrane and a dark nucleolus within
      • It has a roughly spherical shape
    • Vacuole
      • Occupies a large space within a cell
      • Often shows up as a very light shade (white) within an electron micrograph
      • Indicates the cell is a plant cell
    • Cell wall
      • Located around the perimeter of the cell
    • Mitochondria
      • Roughly oval-shaped
      • Double membrane
      • Sometimes observed with visible cristae (foldings of the inner membrane)

Plant Cell Micrograph

TEM electron micrograph of a plant cell showing key features

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Author: Marlene

Marlene graduated from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in 2002 with a degree in Biodiversity and Ecology. After completing a PGCE (Postgraduate certificate in education) in 2003 she taught high school Biology for over 10 years at various schools across South Africa before returning to Stellenbosch University in 2014 to obtain an Honours degree in Biological Sciences. With over 16 years of teaching experience, of which the past 3 years were spent teaching IGCSE and A level Biology, Marlene is passionate about Biology and making it more approachable to her students.