Specialization of Cells

In living organisms there are millions of cells present. If all the cells in a body were the same and performed the same functions, there would be some functions that an organism would be unable to perform. As a result, some of these cells are specialized and grouped together to form tissues which may form organs. Since each of these tissues and organs perform a specific function, there is a division of labour and increased efficiency.

Cells are able to perform different functions because of their structure, the proteins they produce and the organelles present. Since different cells perform different functions a nerve cell, for example, cannot have the same structure as a white blood cell. This specialization is the same for the organelles within the cells. In the cell, each organelle has its own role involving its own specialized structure and chemistry. All the cells and organelles within a cell do their own thing but they all come together for one purpose and that’s to allow proper body function.

Specialized cells differ in size, shape and function. These modifications of the cell enable it to perform its task properly. Both plant and animal cells may be specialized for different tasks.

Examples of Specialized cells are:

-Nerve cell

-White blood cell

-Red blood cell

-Fat cells

-Root hair cell

-Palisade cell


Cells that perform the same specific functions are grouped together in the body to form tissues. Some of the main tissues in Man are:





The main tissues in plants are:



Tissues are grouped together to form organs.

Examples of organs in animals are: kidney, liver and stomach.

Examples of organs in plants are: stem, root, leaf.

Organs are then grouped together to form systems.

An example of a system is the excretory system which we will be examining shortly.

From the flow chart above, it can be seen that cells group together to form tissues and tissues form organs. Organs are grouped together to form systems which collectively form an organism.

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