Difference Between Cell and Tissue

Main Difference – Cell vs Tissue

Cell and tissue are two different organizational levels of the body of multicellular organisms. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells are the two main categories of a cell. Cells form various types of tissues in the body of multicellular organisms. The four types of tissues found in animals are nerve tissue, muscular tissue, epithelial tissue, and connective tissue. Several types of tissues are involved in forming organs in the body. The main difference between cell and tissue is that cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism whereas tissue is any of the distinct types of material of which animals or plants are made, consisting of specialized cells and their products

 Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Cell
     
– Definition, Types, Function
2. What is a Tissue
     
– Definition, Types, Function
3. What are the Similarities Between Cell and Tissue
     
– Outline Of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Cell and Tissue
     
– Comparison Of Key Differences

Key Terms: Animal Tissues, Cells, Connective Tissue, Epidermis, Epithelial Tissue, Eukaryotic Cells, Ground Tissue, Multicellular Organisms, Plant Tissues, Prokaryotic Cells, Simple Epithelium, Stratified Epithelium, Tissue, Vascular TissuesDifference Between Cell and Tissue - Comparison Summary

What is a Cell

A cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism. Cells are typically microscopic. Cells were first discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665. Some organisms are unicellular and the others are multicellular. In unicellular organisms, all the functions of living organisms such as growth, development, and reproduction are carried out by a single cell. All cells develop from the pre-existing cell either by mitosis or meiosis. The four main components of a cell are the cell membrane, cytoskeleton, genetic material, and organelles. The structure of an animal cell is shown in figure 1.

Main Difference - Cell vs Tissue

Figure 01: An Animal Cell

The two main types of cells can be identified based on their organization. They are prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotic cells such as that in bacteria and archaea are typically unicellular, and they are self-sufficient in the environment. Some prokaryotic cells are composed of a cell wall, capsule, flagella, and pili. Many of the eukaryotic cells are multicellular, and are organized into different tissue types, performing specialized functions in the body. Prokaryotic cells lack membranous organelles while eukaryotic cells comprise membranous organelles such as nucleus, mitochondria, plastids, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, and lysosomes. Each organelle performs a unique function in the cell.

What is a Tissue

A tissue is a material made up of specialized cells to perform a unique function in the body of multicellular organisms. Thus, the cells in a tissue consists of similar structure and functions.

Tissues in Animals

The four main tissue types in animals are nerve tissue, muscular tissue, epithelial tissue, and connective tissue. The epithelial tissues comprise three types of cells; cuboidal, columnar, and squamous, attached to a basement membrane. Depending on the type of cells present in the epithelium, three types of epithelial tissues can be identified. Based on the number of cell layers in the tissue, two types of epithelial cells can be identified as simple epithelium and stratified epithelium. The main function of the epithelial tissue is to line surfaces and cavities of the body.

The connective tissue is involved in connecting different types of tissues in the body and providing nutrients to those tissues. Three types of muscles can be identified in the body as smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and skeletal muscles. Smooth muscles and cardiac muscles are involved in the involuntary movements of the body while skeletal muscles are involved in the voluntary movements of the body. Nerve tissue is made up of neurons, which transmit nerve impulses between central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, coordinating functions of the body. The four types of tissues in humans are shown in figure 2.

Difference Between Cell and Tissue

Figure 02: Tissues in Humans

Tissues in Plants

The three types of tissues found in plants are epidermis, vascular tissues, and ground tissues.

The epidermis is found lining the surfaces of plants. The main function of the epidermis is to protect the plant body from dehydration and mechanical damage. The epidermis facilitates the gas exchange in plants as well. Xylem and phloem are two types of vascular tissues, transporting water and nutrients, respectively, throughout the plant body. The ground tissue is involved in the photosynthesis as well as storing food in plants. Tissues in plants also can be divided into two as meristematic and permanent tissues. The meristematic tissues comprise actively dividing cell while permanent tissues comprise specialized cells. Various tissues in a stem of a plant are shown in figure 3.

Difference Between Cell and Tissue_Figure 03

Figure 03: Plant Tissues

Similarities Between Cell and Tissue

  • Both cell and tissue are two organizational units of the body of multicellular organisms.
  • Both these components preform specific functions in the body, which helps to carryout basic forms of life.

Difference Between Cell and Tissue

Definition

Cell: Cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, which is typically microscopic.

Tissue: Tissue is any of the distinct types of material of which animals or plants are made, consisting of specialized cells and their products.

Unicellular/Multicellular Organisms

Cell: Cells are found in both unicellular and multicellular organisms.

Tissue: Tissues are only found in multicellular organisms.

Components

Cell: Cell membrane, genetic material, cytoskeleton, and organelles such as mitochondria, nucleus, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, ribosomes, and lysosomes are the components of a cell.

Tissue: A tissue comprises of similar types of cells, specialized for a unique function.

Types

Cell: Eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells are the two types of cells.

Tissue: Nerve tissue, muscular tissue, epithelial tissue, connective tissue, vascular tissue, and adipose tissue are the types of tissues.

Developmental Process

Cell: Cells are developed from mitosis and meiosis.

Tissue: The cells in a tissue are developed from undifferentiated cells in the body. The tissue repairs by regeneration and fibrosis.

Size

Cell: Cells are microscopic.

Tissue: Tissues are macroscopic.

Functions

Cell: Growth, metabolism, and reproduction are the functions of a cell.

Tissue: Each tissue carries out a unique function in the body.

Significance

Cell: A collection of similar type of cells form a tissue.

Tissue: Several types of tissues form an organ.

Conclusion

Cell and tissue are two organizational levels in living organisms. The cell is the smallest structural and functional unit of all living organisms. It is capable of growing, metabolizing, and reproducing by themselves. Tissues are composed of a specialized type of cells. Tissues perform unique functions in the body of both animals and plants. The main difference between cell and tissue is the different organizational levels of each component in the body of living organisms.

Reference:

1. “What is a cell? – Genetics Home Reference.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. Available here. 04 July 2017. 
2. “What Are Tissues? – Types & Explanation.” Study.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 04 July 2017. 

Image Courtesy:

1. “0312 Animal Cell and Components” By OpenStax  (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia                                          2. “401 Types of Tissue” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. Jun 19, 2013. (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Crassula ovata, vascular bundles labelled in cross-section” By Frank Vincentz – Crassula ovata5 ies.jpg, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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