Do Eukaryotic Cells Have A Cell Wall: 11 Interesting Facts

In this article, we will study about: do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall? And the interesting facts about it.

Eukaryotes are organisms whose cells exhibit more complexity. Animals, plants, fungi, and protozoa are the only organisms that have eukaryotic cells with a cell wall. The type of organism a eukaryote belongs to will determine whether it is multicellular or unicellular.

Eukaryotes are organisms that fall under the category of Eukarya or Eukaryota and have a defined nucleus. Additional membrane-bound organelles such as the Golgi apparatus and the mitochondria are frequently present in eukaryotic cells, and both plants and algae comprise chloroplasts. Eukaryotes can be either unicellular or multicellular and contain a wide variety of cell types that produce various types of tissue.

Eukaryotic cells, such as those found in plants, algae, fungus, and most chromalveolates, contain a cell wall, an outer layer of the cell membrane. It is the cell’s structural support, physical defense, and filtration system. Also, the cell wall protects the eukaryotic cell from over-expanding whenever water gets in.

Cellulose, hemi-cellulose, and pectin are the three significant polysaccharides that constitute the primary cell wall of terrestrial plants. Furthermore, xyloglucan is the most prevalent hemicellulose in the primary cell wall.

A eukaryotic cell as do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall
A eukaryotic cell – shutterstock

Do all eukaryotic have cell walls?

Although some specific eukaryotes have cell walls, nearly all eukaryotes have cell membranes. Specifically, like animal cells, eukaryotes have a total absence of a cell wall, allowing animal cells to change into a range of shapes and sizes. However, other eukaryotes, such as plant cells, have primary cell walls made of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin coated on the cell membrane’s outer layer by the protoplast.

According to research, most eukaryotes have unique organelles depending on the type of organism or life form. Certain eukaryote types often have unusual organelles as the cyanelles of glaucophytes, which are unusual plastids, ejectosomes of cryptomonads, or haptonema of haptophytes. Diverse eukaryotic families, such as the reticulose foraminiferans or lobose amoebozoans, have different kinds of other unique organelles, such as pseudopodia.

A membrane-bound nucleus and membrane-bound organelles likewise characterize eukaryotes. Moreover, fungal cells have a cell wall that comprises chitin in complement to the plant cell wall. However, the cell wall is also present in bacteria. Furthermore, the plasma membrane is present in all organisms with cell walls, although enclosed in the cell wall.

Plant and animal cell showing cell wall as do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall
Plant and animal cell showing cell wall – Shutterstock

What type of eukaryotic cells have cell walls?

All eukaryotes have nuclei covered in nuclear membranes, although some do not have cell walls like those found in animals. However, all plant cells have a cell wall composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. In addition, some bacterial and fungal cells also have a cell wall. Chitin is present in fungal cell walls, with less cell fragmentation.

Since the cell wall of plant cells encloses their plasma membrane and offers strength properties and resistance against mechanical and osmotic load. Although animal cells lack a cell wall, they have an outside layer called a plasma membrane, which enables them to transform into various shapes and sizes. 

The thick, stiff, semi-elastic, non-living, translucent, and specialized extracellular matrix known as the cell wall is also found outside the plasma membrane of cells. In the case of bacterial, fungal, and some plant cells, it gives the cell a distinct shape and firmness. The plant cell wall guards support and shape the cell, while the central vacuole is essential for controlling the osmotic pressure in the cell in adapting to shifting external conditions.

Functions of cell walls in eukaryotic cells:

Since it embeds all cell organelles in a constrained shape, the cell wall is especially crucial for all cell types. The primary roles of the cell wall are to safeguard the cell, support its structure, and help defend against osmotic cell bulging. Likewise, it provides a protective form and shields it against pathogen invasions and physical disruption.

The following are some of the most notable cell wall functions that have been identified more precisely:

  • Since the cell wall of eukaryotic cells serves as an external covering for the cell organelles, it gives them structural stability.
  • The cell wall is effective in carrying materials within and outside the cell as it is semipermeable and assists in storing water inside it.
  • The cell wall is a separator between the internal cellular contents and the outside world.
  • To begin the cell cycle and undergo division and growth, the cell wall transmits signals to every part of the cell.
  • The cell wall functions as a communication link of openings or passageways between plant cell walls for substances and communication signals to travel between specific plant cells.

Do eukaryotic cells have a cell membrane?

Yes, eukaryotic cells have a cell or plasma membrane as it ensures the cell’s nucleus is surrounded. The plasma membrane protects the cytoplasm that is housed inside the cell. It is a sophisticated, well-structured entity that is the foundation of all living organisms. 

The membranous plasma membrane is a two-layered framework of proteins and lipids that regulates the entering and exiting of the cell. Also, phospholipids, a specialized lipid type, make up most of this double layer. Two hydrophobic (mostly water-disliking) fatty acid tails and a hydrophilic (mostly water-supportive) phosphate head make up a phospholipid. 

The hydrophobic tails of phospholipids naturally organize themselves in a double-layered or bi-layered arrangement, with their hydrophilic heads fronting outward. Furthermore, proteins are a vital element of the plasma membrane. It regulates how different molecules, such as carbohydrates, ions, amino acids, and water move into and out of the cell. 

Which eukaryotic cells do not have a cell wall?

Animal cells and those of vertebrates are eukaryotic cells, which lack a cell wall. Due to the absence of the cell wall, they can change into various shapes based on how the cell wall expands during the growth phase. Instead, their outer layer is only a cell membrane or plasma membrane.

Why don’t eukaryotic cells have a cell wall?

Even though a eukaryotic cell’s cell wall is an outermost layer that is tight and created especially to offer structural support and stiffness, some eukaryotic cells, such as animal cells, do not have a cell wall. Animals must be flexible because they are constantly moving and not stationary in one location. An extra layer of cell walls is thus unnecessary; however, the endomembrane system is a collection of membrane-bound formations in eukaryotic cells.

Do animal cells have a cell wall?

No, eukaryotic animal cells do not possess a cell wall. Instead, they have a plasma membrane that encloses the cytoplasm and all of the cell organelles. It’s because, unlike plants, which have rigid and robust cell walls, animals are flexible, dynamic, and constantly move, denying the necessity for cell walls.

Animal cell doesn't contain a cell wall  as do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall
Animal cell doesn’t contain a cell wall – shutterstock

Does Amoeba have cell wall?

No, the cell wall of the Amoeba is absent. Moreover, the absence of a cell wall permits unrestricted movement of it. Amoebae use pseudopods and cytoplasmic protrusions created when actin microfilaments work together to stretch out the plasma membrane that protects the cell from travel and ingestion. Instead, an amoeba has a tiny portion of jelly-like cytoplasm that is separated into a center granular endoplasm covering rigid, transparent ectoplasm and a relatively thin plasma membrane.

Do plants have a cell wall?

Yes, plants have a cell wall made up of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. The plant cell wall covers the plasma membrane that offers mechanical strength and defensive performance against osmotic and outside pressure. The cell wall of plants is necessary because it requires a solid framework to allow it to expand in width and length.

Eukaryotic plant cell as do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall
Eukaryotic plant cell – Shutterstock

Does fungi have a cell wall?

Yes, The cell wall of the fungi is composed of chitin, glucans, mannans, and glycoproteins. Fungal cells have a solid yet malleable cell wall that gives the cells shape, defense, and permeability. It reduces cellular body and structural stability, consequently leading to osmotic lysis of the fungal cell. 

Fungal cell showing it's cell wall as do eukaryotic cells have a cell wall
Fungal cell showing it’s cell wall – shutterstock

Do protists have a cell wall?

Regardless of the type of protist’s cell, certain protists predominantly have a cell wall while others do not. Such single-celled organisms or protists use their flagella, cilia, or amoeboid movement mechanisms to navigate. Cellulose or other similar polymers make up the cell wall of several protists that resemble some fungus.


For any eukaryotic cell to maintain its organelles in position or intact and carry out all other metabolic functions, eukaryotic cell walls are required. Furthermore, it offers a partially porous surface or a portal for substances to leave the cell. However, eukaryotic animals lack a cell wall in their cells.

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