MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: Does plant cells and animal cells can be put up together?

Date: Wed Nov 29 11:06:59 2006
Posted By: Melanie Tuffen, Undergraduate, Biology, University of Nottingham
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1159708668.Cb

Scientists are able to mix cells of different types through a process 
known as cell fusion. All cells are surronded by membranes, which can 
fuse together and then the contents of the cells mix. The new cell 
produced is called a hybrid cell.

Because plant cells have a cell wall, cell fusion can not take place 
unless this is removed. This can be done by adding enzymes which degrade 
the cell wall, but will leave the membrane intact. A plant cell without a 
cell wall is called a protoplast. Here is a picture:

Then if the plant protoplasts and animal cells and mixed under the right 
conditions, usually an electric current is needed, the two cells will 
fuse and there contents will mix. However, the rate at which this will 
occur is very low, with maybe only 2 cells out of 100 fusing to create 1 
hybrid cell.

The use of cell fusion is most often used between plant protoplasts of 
different species. I have done this and like the plant and animal cells, 
the rate od fusion is very low. Here is a picture of two cell's fusing:

As far as I know this would be the only way to "mix" plant and animal 

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