The Difference Between Plant & Animal Cell Homogenization

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Deb Shechter
May 5, 2016
min read
The Difference Between Plant & Animal Cell Homogenization

Although both eukaryotic, plant and animal cells are distinct in their organelle structures and metabolic processes. Scientists may elect to disrupt either cell type to access genomic DNA or intracellular proteins; yet the homogenization process may be different for plant vs. animal cells. By customizing your process to the appropriate cell type, you can expect a pure, high-yield lysate. Keep reading to learn about specific differences between the animal and plant cell homogenization processes.

Animal Cells

Animal cells have only a fragile membrane separating intracellular contents from the extracellular environment. A gentle combination of mechanical forces (e.g. liquid shear) is, therefore, one of a small few methods that is gentle enough to preserve intracellular proteins/molecules of interest while still imparting enough force to rupture the membrane.

Plant Cells

In contrast to animal cell structure, the rigid wall of plant cells cannot be easily broken and requires a much more powerful method. This frequently translates to intensive mechanical forces like high shear, cavitation, and pressure, which can quickly and easily accomplish cell rupture. Some users will also treat plant samples with cellulase to break up the layers of cellulose lingering within the wall. (1)

...So What Comes Next?

Once the homogenization process is complete, cell components can be separated from each other by centrifugation. If there is a specific organelle of interest, an enzyme marker can be used during the fractionation process to monitor the molecule’s location. Although the specific enzyme markers may differ based on molecule of interest and cell type, the post-homogenization process will look nearly identical between plant and animal cells.

Pion: High Quality Homogenizers for Cell Disruption

Both plant and animal cells can be easily lysed via multiple distinct mixing processes, with homogenization being one of the more frequently chosen methods- and for good reason. With a top-shelf homogenizer, lysates can be of higher quality and more even consistency than with the other methods.

When considering where to begin in your homogenizer search, check out Pion and our quality products. Pion's BEE brand is trusted by researchers around the world for both their laboratory homogenizers and their associated customer support. Cell lysis is just one of a variety of applications for Pion's homogenizers; nano/micro emulsions, lipids, suspensions, and dispersions are also easily achievable. Additionally, the homogenizer processes can be controlled to suit your product, which will allow you to customize to your cell type. And finally, the equipment is easy to use, produces higher yield in less time, and achieves results that are reproducible and scalable.

Learn about how to make your cell lysis protocol more effective by contacting us today!

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