The cell wall is the tough, usually flexible but sometimes fairly rigid layer that surrounds some types of cells. It is located outside the cell membrane and provides these cells with structural support and protection, in addition to acting as a filtering mechanism. A major function of the cell wall is to act as a pressure vessel, preventing over-expansion when water enters the cell. Cell walls are found in plants, bacteria, fungi, algae, and some archaea. Animals and protozoa do not have cell walls.
The material in the cell wall varies between species, and can also differ depending on cell type and developmental stage. In bacteria, peptidoglycan forms the cell wall. Archaean cell walls have various compositions, and may be formed of glycoprotein S-layers, pseudopeptidoglycan, or polysaccharides. Fungi possess cell walls made of the glucosamine polymer chitin, and algae typically possess walls made of glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Unusually, diatoms have a cell wall composed of biogenic silica. Often, other accessory molecules are found anchored to the cell wall.
Read more about Cell Wall: Properties, Plant Cell Walls, Algal Cell Walls, Fungal Cell Walls, Cell Walls of Water and Slime Molds
Famous quotes containing the words cell and/or wall:
“Why inspire in us a horror of our being?... To look upon the universe as a prison cell and all men as criminals about to be executed is the idea of a fanatic.”
—Voltaire [François Marie Arouet] (16941778)
“Cooling, so cooling,
with a wall against my feet,
—Matsuo Basho (16441694)