Whenever we talk of cells, we refer to cell walls. So, what is a cell wall, and do plant cells have it?
Do plant cells have a cell wall?
Yes, plant cells do have a cell wall. It is a complex structure that fulfills a range of different functions in the plant cell. It plays an essential role in the day-to-day functioning of the plant cell.
So, let us explore more about the functions and importance of the cell wall in a plant cell.
The cell wall is a complex structure that plays an essential role in the plant cell. It comes in a range of types and varies from tissue to tissue.
In general, two wall types surround the plant cells and are referred to as the primary and secondary cell walls.
A dynamic cell wall is formed in the young plant cell during the process of cell division. It provides the basic structural support, facilitates inter-cell interactions, and protects the plant cell. A thicker and more durable secondary cell wall is formed once the plant has developed. It lies between the primary cell wall and the plasma membrane. It plays an important role in maintaining the upright posture of the plant.
Structure of a Cell wall
The cell wall in plants is primarily made up of cellulose. Cellulose fibers are essentially long, linear polymers composed of glucose molecules. So, the plant cell wall is composed of a network of cellulose polymers and cross-linking glycan, embedded in a matrix of polysaccharides.
Although the primary wall is durable, it is also thin and flexible to accommodate subsequent cell growth.
The secondary cell wall develops once the division of the plant cell is complete. It is thicker and much more durable than the primary cell wall.
However, there may be structural differences in the cell wall as it varies from tissue to tissue of the plant.
Function of Cell wall
The primary function of the cell wall is to provide a structural framework to the cell. It also acts as the first line of defense and protects the plant from external threats such as pathogens.
The cell wall is dynamic and modifies itself according to the environmental needs to enable the plant cell to survive. The cell walls also regulate molecular movement and responses to hormones, sugars, proteins, and RNAs.
It also allows the cells to develop turgor pressure which helps maintain the upright posture of the plant. It also allows the plant cells to be drought resistant. The cell wall also creates the primary division between young cells and helps in the process of cell division. These are some of the functions of the cell wall in the plant.
Thus, we can see that plant cells have cell walls. The plant cell is surrounded by a tough cellulose matrix called the cell wall. The cell wall plays a host of different functions that are important for the survival of the plant cell. However, plant cells are unique to plant cells and are absent in animal cells.