I want to know what sort of range there is on the number of different chemical species in a typical plant and animal cell. Failing that, some specific examples (with sources please).


  • $\begingroup$ What is a chemical for you? $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 11 '14 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ anything that can diffuse in the cell $\endgroup$ – RNs_Ghost Feb 11 '14 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ well there are about 6000 distinct proteins in a yeast cell. So I would guess in the hundreds of thousands. sciencealert.com/… $\endgroup$ – John Aug 24 '19 at 17:25

There is no average plant cell. However this article describes a whole plant flux balance model with 333 metabolites. This won't describe a lot of the molecules plants make.

I seem to remember a natural product analysis of garlic that had scores of sulphur containing compounds that give its distinctive smell for instance. This model would be a simplified plant which has no special characteristics like that, which probably doesn't exist. Its probably not less than half the number of compounds that some plants produce or use.


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