GCSE Biology: Cell Specialisation

5th April 2017

New GCSE English Syllabus

Biology - cell specialisation (part 1) - key facts!


Here we’re going to go through the first half of the cells that you need to learn about. You’ll need to be able to know how they function and how they are each specialised. We will be looking at the nerve, sperm, xylem and root hair cells! All of these may come up in your biology exam so make sure you understand everything we go through.

Nerve cells

The nerve cell can also be referred to as a neuron. It transports electrical impulses from one place to another and is specialised to do this. Several different adaptations make it specialised for it’s job:

  • Dendrons are like branches on a tree which then branch off even more. These secondary branches are called dendrites

  • Axon are long fibre. These are insulated by a fatty sheath which is it’s cover

Sperm cells

Sperm cells are the cell that fertilises the egg cell. This egg cell can also be referred to as a female gamete. The tail of the cell is the part that helps it navigate itself. The middle part of the cell contains mitochondria which is stored here for energy. Finally the head is where the genetic information is held. As well as this, the head has an enzyme to break through the egg wall with.

Xylem cells

These are the cells that give the plant support and transport water around.

Root hair cells

These absorb water and minerals and have a long thin extension called a root hair to help do this. The extension expands the surface area of the cell, helping it absorb as much water and minerals as possible.

Hopefully you now understand a bit more about these plant cells and how they are each adapted to do their jobs well. It’s crucial that you learn and revise this information and to help you do this we’ve done a song on it! It has all this information but with music! Go and have a listen.


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