Need to brush up on your knowledge of cell structure and function for Class 8? Check out our free multiple choice questions (MCQs) that can help you prepare for exams and assess how well you understand key topics
What is the main function of the cell wall?
The cell wall is a dynamic structure found in the cells of both plants and fungi. It helps provide shape, rigidity, and protection to the cell and also prevents excessive uptake of water by the cell. Additionally, it can also contribute to cellular communication with cells around it.
All cells contain a cell wall which is composed of various kinds of molecules such as proteins, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins. The cell wall functions as a protective barrier, keeping unwanted elements out and helping to maintain the cell’s shape. Additionally, the cell wall provides strength and structure so that it can withstand pressure from its environment and keep its contents intact. The cell membrane lies just inside the cell wall and helps regulate what enters and exits the cell.
There are many other types of molecules that are also found in the cell wall, depending on the specific cell type. For example, some cells have additional components such as pectin and lignin which provide further strength and rigidity. The major role of the cell wall is to protect the interior of the cell from damage caused by external factors such as temperature, pressure, disease-causing organisms, osmotic stress (when salt concentrations outside of a cell become too high or too low), and mechanical disruption. It also helps to maintain the shape of a cell; without it, cells would be amorphous blobs instead of distinct shapes.