Cell Biology Benchmark Practice Questions

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Cell Biology Benchmark Practice Questions - Quiz

Practice questions to help you succeed on the semester 1 cell biology benchmark. Make sure to take notes while you take this quiz, and read the explanation of each correct answer before moving on to the next question. (CLICK ON "View Answer" to see the explanation)


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    The cell membrane of the red blood cellwill allow water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and glucose to pass through. Because other substances are blocked from entering, this membrane is called:

    • A.

      Perforated.

    • B.

      Semi-permeable.

    • C.

      Non-conductive.

    • D.

      Permeable.

    Correct Answer
    B. Semi-permeable.
    Explanation
    Permeable means "to allow materials to pass through". The prefix semi- means "partly." The cell membrane is described as semi-permeable because it allow SOME materials to pass through, but not all. Sometimes this is also called "selective-permeability"

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  • 2. 

    The plasma membrane of a cell consists of 

    • A.

      Protein molecules arranged in two layers with polar areas forming the outside of the membrane.

    • B.

      Two layers of lipids organized with the nonpolar tails forming the interior of the membrane.

    • C.

      Lipid molecules positioned between two carbohydrate layers.

    • D.

      Protein molecules with polar and nonpolar tails.

    Correct Answer
    B. Two layers of lipids organized with the nonpolar tails forming the interior of the membrane.
    Explanation
    The plasma membrane is made up of a lipid bilayer. Remember, the prefix bi- means 2, so this literally means two layers of lipids. Each lipid has a hydrophobic tail, which is also called non-polar - meaning doesn't like water! Since cells are surrounded by water, the lipids tails face inward towards each other.

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  • 3. 

    What causes tomatoes to ripen much more slowly in a refrigerator than they do if left on a table at room temperature? 

    • A.

      Tomatoes need sunlight to ripen.

    • B.

      Humidity accelerates the ripening process.

    • C.

      Low temperatures reduce the action of ripening enzymes.

    • D.

      Enzymes produced by bacteria inhibit ripening.

    Correct Answer
    C. Low temperatures reduce the action of ripening enzymes.
    Explanation
    Recall that TEMPERATURE has a negative effect on enzymes. Heat destroys enzymes and renders them completely useless, but cold temperatures just slow enzymes down. In this case, by putting tomatoes in the fridge you are exposing the enzymes in them to cold, slowing down the ripening process.

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  • 4. 

    There are many different enzymes located in the cytoplasm of a single cell. How is a specific enzyme able to catalyze a specific reaction? 

    • A.

      Different enzymes are synthesized in specific areas of the cytoplasm.

    • B.

      Most enzymes can catalyze many different reactions.

    • C.

      An enzyme binds to a specific substrate (reactant) for the reaction catalyzed.

    • D.

      Enzymes are transported to specific substrates (reactants) by ribosomes.

    Correct Answer
    C. An enzyme binds to a specific substrate (reactant) for the reaction catalyzed.
    Explanation
    Each enzyme can only catalyze (speed up) one reaction. That is because the SHAPE of an enzyme must match perfectly to the substrate it wants to help. (Like a lock and key). Enzymes will only bind to the substrate that fits into them.

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  • 5. 

    Maltose can be broken down into glucose molecules by the enzyme maltase. Which of the following would slow the reaction rate? 

    • A.

      Adding maltase

    • B.

      Adding maltose

    • C.

      Removing glucose

    • D.

      Diluting with water

    Correct Answer
    D. Diluting with water
    Explanation
    By diluting the solution with water, it makes it more difficult for the enzyme and substrate to find each other. (There is more space for them to have to float through to find each other - for example, say you lose your binder. It would be much easier to find your lost binder if you know you lost it in your bedroom vs. if you lost it at school because the school campus is much bigger than your bedroom.)

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  • 6. 

    Eukaryotic cells are differentiated from prokaryotic cells because eukaryotic cells 

    • A.

      Are much smaller.

    • B.

      Have permeable membranes.

    • C.

      Have a higher rate of reproduction.

    • D.

      Have nuclei.

    Correct Answer
    D. Have nuclei.
    Explanation
    Eukaryotes store their DNA in a nucleus, but prokaryotes do not. The other options are incorrect because prokaryotes are actually smaller than eukaryotes, ALL cells have permeable membranes, and all cells can reproduce at similar rates.

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  • 7. 

    Which cellular organelle is responsible for packaging the proteins that the cell secretes? 

    • A.

      Cytoskeleton

    • B.

      Golgi apparatus

    • C.

      Lysosome

    • D.

      Cell membrane

    Correct Answer
    B. Golgi apparatus
    Explanation
    The golgi apparatus is often described as "the post office" of the cell. After a protein is assembled by a ribosome, tagged or modified by the endoplasmic reticulum, it is "driven" by a vesicle to the gologi apparatus. The golgi then decides where it needs to go, and packages it appropriately for delivery by another vesicle.

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  • 8. 

    Which molecule in plant cells first captures the radiant energy from sunlight? 

    • A.

      Chlorophyll

    • B.

      Glucose

    • C.

      Carbon dioxide

    • D.

      Chloroplast

    Correct Answer
    A. Chlorophyll
    Explanation
    Chlorophyll is the pigment that absorbs light energy. It is green in color, and found in the thylakoids of the chloroplasts of plant cells. (The chloroplast itself does not absorb light energy, the pigment chlorophyll does.)

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  • 9. 

    The first stage of photosynthesis in the chloroplast is

    • A.

      Light-dependent

    • B.

      Temperature-dependent

    • C.

      Glucose-driven

    • D.

      ATP-driven

    Correct Answer
    A. Light-dependent
    Explanation
    The first reaction that must happen is the light dependent, because light energy is what fuels the whole process of photosynthesis. The light is used (along with H2O) to create NADPH and ATP to fuel the next reaction. (Calvin Cycle)

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  • 10. 

    The human liver helps to detoxify drugs and alcohol in your body. A cell from liver muscle would probably have an unusually high proportion of

    • A.

      Lysosomes

    • B.

      Smooth endoplasmic reticulum

    • C.

      Nuclei

    • D.

      Chloroplasts

    Correct Answer
    B. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum
    Explanation
    Remember that eukaryotes can form multi-cellular organisms because each cell can be "specialized" - or different to perform different functions. That means what is on the inside of each cell may be different. In the liver, each cell has a large amount of smooth endoplasmic reticulum compared to "normal" cells because the S.E.R.'s function is to detoxify drugs and alcohol. (which is the job of the whole liver!)

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  • 11. 

    In aerobic respiration, the Krebs cycle (citric acid cycle) takes place in 

    • A.

      Mitochondria

    • B.

      Cytoplasm

    • C.

      Nucleus

    • D.

      Cell membrane

    Correct Answer
    A. Mitochondria
    Explanation
    The main steps of cellular respiration are the Kreb's Cycle and Electron Transport chain, which both require energy and occur in the mitochondria. The function of the mitochondria is to release energy from food, which is precisely what cellular respiration does!

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  • 12. 

    Which of the following describe the organelles that plant cells have, that animals cells do not?

    • A.

      Nucleus, cell membrane, lysosomes

    • B.

      Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, chloroplasts

    • C.

      Chloroplasts, cell wall (made of cellulose), large central vacuole

    • D.

      Chloroplasts, mitochondria, nuclus

    Correct Answer
    C. Chloroplasts, cell wall (made of cellulose), large central vacuole
    Explanation
    Only plants have a chloroplast because only plants can perform photosynthesis. Plant cells also have a cell wall so their bodies can be more rigid to grow upwards towards sunlight. (Animal cells do not have cell walls because animals can move, and a cell wall is too rigid to allow a lot of movement.) Plant cells also use a large central vacuole to fill with water and nutrients.

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  • Mar 22, 2023
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