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Difference Between Cell Wall and Cell Membrane

Learning the difference between cell wall and cell membrane is really important as many people can easily confuse between the two. One simple difference between the two is that the cell wall is only present in plants while the cell membrane is there in all the living organisms, whether animals or plants.

Definition of Cell Wall

A cell wall refers to an outer layer that is outside of the cell membrane and it surrounds certain cells. Furthermore, all the cells will have a cell membrane, thus showing the difference between the cell wall and cell membrane. Moreover, the cell wall provides structural support and strength to the cell, and can even determine the types of molecules along with their concentrations entering and leaving the cell.

Definition of Cell Membrane

The cell membrane, also known as the plasma membrane, refers to a double layer of proteins and lipids that surrounds a cell. Furthermore, it facilitates separation between the cytoplasm from the external environment. Another name of it is the plasma membrane and it is a feature of both the types of cells- prokaryotic and eukaryotic.

Difference between Cell Wall and Cell Membrane

Parameter Cell Wall Cell Membrane
Meaning A rigid, thick structure visible under a light microscope. Furthermore, it exists in a plant cells, a fungal cells, and bacterial cells. Also, it provides the cell its rigidity and shape A delicate, thin structure that is visible under an electron microscope. Furthermore, it exists in every type of cell. Also, it provides protection to the protoplasm and facilitates the passing of molecules
Composition Its formation takes place place from chitin(fungi), cellulose(plant cell), and peptidoglycan(bacteria) Its formation takes place from proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates
Presence It is present in a plant cell,  fungi, bacteria, and algae It is present in each and every type of cell
Receptors It lacks receptors They have receptors that facilitate cell to cell communication
Structure It has thick layers that can be visible through a light microscope It has thin layers that are visible through an electron microscope
Permeability It is complete permeable It is semi-permeable
Thickness Its thickness tends to grow with life Its thickness remains the same for the entire course of its life
Nutrition It has no requirement from the cell of any nutrition but rather of deposition It requires proper nutrition in order to survive

More Details about Cell Wall

The cell wall has various important functions. The main function of the cell wall is that it provides strength to the cell, hence protecting it against physical damage. Moreover, it also gives shape to the cell and consequently allows the organism to maintain a particular overall shape.

The cell wall can also give protection against pathogens that attempt to invade or attack the cell. Furthermore, the structure of a cell wall is such that it facilitates the passing of small molecules through it. However, the cell does not allow the larger molecules to pass through it as they can cause harm to the cell.

The main component of a cell wall in plants is cellulose that results in the formation of long fibers for the purpose of rigidity. The cell wall of bacteria almost always has the porous polysaccharide peptidoglycan while the fungi cell wall has chitin. Moreover, there is diversity in the cell walls of algae.

More Details about Cell Membrane

The main function of the cell membrane is that it gives the cell its structure and undertakes regulation of the entering and leaving of the materials in the cell. Furthermore, it allows some materials to cross but denies entry to others. Most noteworthy, the cell membrane only permits some molecules to enter or exit.

The cell membrane comprises a phospholipid bilayer. Furthermore, phospholipids are lipid molecules whose formation takes place from two fatty acid tails and a phosphate group head. Most importantly, the properties of phospholipid molecules facilitate the formation of a double-layered membrane.

FAQs about Cell Wall and Cell Membrane

Question 1: Give anyone the difference between the cell wall and the cell membrane?

Answer 1: One difference between the cell wall and cell membrane can be on the basis of receptors. Furthermore, the cell wall lacks receptors while the cell membrane has receptors that facilitate cell communication.

Question 2: What exactly is a cell membrane?

Answer 2: Cell membrane, whose other name is the plasma membrane, is a double layer of proteins and lipids surrounding a cell.

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thanks for in lighting us

Olatunji Akinola
Olatunji Akinola

Thanks for lighting me more this aspect

Nneka chinedu
Nneka chinedu

Thanks for enlightening me more on this

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