Fungi Cell Wall And Plant Cell Wall: 5 Important Facts

In this article, we will discuss fungi cell wall and plant cell walls and highlight the five important facts about them. 

A three-part framework of chitin, proteins and glucans builds up the cell walls of fungi, while cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectin, agar, and other substances make up the cell walls of plants. Plant and fungal cell walls serve physical strength and guard against dehydration.

The cell segment that regulates all of a cell’s interactions with its surrounding environment is the fungal and plant cell wall, formed outside the plasma membrane. Numerous metabolic and signalling mechanisms are involved in the synthesis and preservation of the cell wall.

Plant cells must have strong enough ductile walls to survive the internal osmotic tensions that originate from the varying concentrations of solutes between the interior and exterior fluids, which can be many times higher than atmospheric pressure. At the same time, the cell walls of legit fungus do not include cellulose and instead are predominantly made of chitin and other polysaccharides. 

Do both plants and fungi have cell walls?

Yes, the cell walls are placed immediately outside the cell membrane in plants and fungi. Based on the cell type and growth conditions, fungi and plants have different cell wall compositions. Cell walls serve as pressure channels, restraining the cell from over-expanding when water penetrates. 

Therefore, some plant tissues’ cell walls serve as repositories for carbohydrates that can be metabolized and reabsorbed to address the requirements of the plant’s metabolism and growth. However, the fungal cell wall is a sophisticated and adaptable structure that serves various purposes, such as giving cells their rigidity and assessing their shape, helping in ion exchange and metabolism, and protecting them from osmotic conditions. 

The fungal cell wall also serves as a carbohydrate reservoir and contains important receptors in pivotal interplay with the host. Although, the plant cell walls are thick because they maintain the cell’s components and defend against unfavourable visitors. It offers the plant shape and minimizes water loss from plant cells.

Plant cell wall as fungi cell wall and plant cell wall
Plant cell wall – Wikipedia


Similarities between fungi cell walls and plant cell walls:

Depending on the variety, similarities can appear between the cell walls of plants and fungi. Both fungi and plants have cell walls that give the cell and its components structure, stability, and protection. Moreover, eukaryotic cells make up the cell walls of plants and fungi.

Fungi and plant cell walls also share the following similarities:

  • Since they are stationary in existence, fungi and plants have turgid cell walls that must be strong enough to withstand shifting environmental conditions. 
  • The cell walls of both plants and fungi facilitate ion exchange while defending against osmotic stress.
  • It supports the metabolism of both the cell walls of plants and fungi.
  • The size of the plant and fungal cells influences the composition of their cell walls.
  • Like fungi, plants have multi-layered cell walls with up to three segments. Depending on the fungus, there may be more than three sections.

The cell wall effectively retains water, preventing the cell from bursting, as is seen in the cell walls of fungus and plants. The cell walls of plants and fungi have also undergone numerous rounds of evolution among various types of organisms. Both have a cell wall surrounding the cell membrane as its outermost layer to safeguard it and contribute to controlling how much water enters the cells.

Difference between plant and fungi cell walls:

The main difference between the cell walls of fungi and plants is the composition of the materials that make up each type of cell wall. Whilst the chitin and other components make up the cell wall of fungi, cellulose and other components make up the cell wall of plants. However, polysaccharide groups are a component of both cellulose and chitin.

Also, cellulose is not only a single component of a plant’s cell wall; hemicellulose, agar, pectin, and other substances are also present. Similarly, the cell walls of fungi also contain proteins, glucans, and chitin. Also, the contact for communication between malignant fungus and their host is frequently the fungal cell wall. However, it is not visible in plant cell walls.

While the cell wall in plants is responsible for storing chlorophyll inside the cell, the cell wall in fungi does not have any chlorophyll since it is deficient. Because of this, plants use sunlight to prepare food, whereas fungi draw nutrients from the ground. Furthermore, starch can be found in plant cell walls, but there is no indication of starch in fungal cell walls.

Fungi or Fungal cell wall  as  fungi cell wall and plant cell wall
Fungi or Fungal cell wall – Wikimedia

Are fungi cell walls and plant cell walls same?

No, although plants and fungi have cell walls, their cell wall compositions are not the same. Consequently, the plant cell comprises three layers of the cell wall and three main components, primarily cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin. In contrast, the cell walls of fungi are primarily made of chitin and other polysaccharides, including proteins and glucans.

The primary, secondary, and middle lamellae are the three layers that make up the plant cell wall. The primary cell wall is often a thin, elastic layer generated as the cell grows. The middle lamella is a layer rich in pectin that binds the other two layers together. The secondary cell wall is a protective covering that reinforces and waterproofs the plant cell wall.

However, there are no layers to be observed in the fungus cell walls, and the polymer chitin, primarily made up of unbranched polymers, dominates the constitution of the cell wall. Glucans are glucose polymers that, in addition to chitin, serve to emulsify chitin or chitosan polymers. In terms of the structural proteins, the cell wall also contains proteins that are enzymes required for cell wall formation, and lysis is also a part of the cell wall of the fungus.


The cell wall is the outer covering that encircles the cell membrane in both fungi and plants. In fungi and plants, the cell wall serves as a barrier between the inside and outside of the cell, gives the cell strength, and serves as a pathway for molecules to go in and out of the cell. Due to the composition of the cell wall and the layers, it contains, the cell wall of fungi differs from the cell wall of plants. 

Roshny Batu

Hey! I'm Roshny Batu. I got a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany. In the domain of academic writing, I consider myself fortunate to be a part of the Lambdageeks family as an SME in Bio-Technology. Apart from that, I love designing interiors, painting, and mastering makeup artist skills.

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