A cell is the structural and functional working unit of life and also been described as building blocks and fundamental unit of an organism. The term cell was first identified by an English philosopher Robert Hook in the year 1665. The shape and size of the cells vary according to their functions and compositions. There are different types of cells and can be differentiated based on the presence and absence of few cell organelles.
The cell wall is the outermost covering of plant cells. It is present outside the cell membrane and is tough, flexible and sometimes rigid in its texture. It is mainly composed of cellulose, long fibers of carbohydrates including hemicellulose, lignin, and pectin.
The main functions of the cell wall
- Protecting the cell against physical damage and invading pathogens.
- Regulate and controls the direction of cell growth.
- Providing the strength, structural support and maintaining the shape of the cell.
- Functions as a storage unit by storing carbohydrates for use in plant growth, especially in seeds.
- It acts as a selectively permeable membrane by allowing the entry of small molecules to pass through it.
The cell membrane which is also known as the plasma membrane. It is the outermost covering of animal cells. It is a semi-permeable membrane composed of lipids and proteins. The main functions of the cell membrane include:
- Protecting the integrity of the interior cell.
- Providing the support and maintaining the shape of the cell.
- Helps in regulating the cell growth through the balance of endocytosis and exocytosis.
- The cell membrane also plays an important role in cell signaling and communication.
- It acts as a selectively permeable membrane by allowing the entry of only selected substances into the cell.
Difference between Cell Wall and Cell Membrane
|CELL WALL||CELL MEMBRANE|
|Found only in plants, and in some fungi, bacteria, algae.||Found in all cells.|
|The cell wall is made up of sugar and cellulose.||The cell membrane is composed of lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates.|
|It is a non-living structure of a cell.||It is a cell membrane is a living organelle of a cell.|
|It is thick and rigid structure.||It is thin and delicate structure.|
|It provides shape and protects the cell from the external environment.||It protects and maintains the internal environment of the cell.|
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