How Do Bacterial Cell Walls Differ From Plant Cell Walls

Bacterial cell walls are made of peptidoglycan, which is a type of polysaccharide. Plant cell walls are made up of cellulose and pectin. Cellulose is the most abundant organic molecule on Earth after water.

Pectin is a complex carbohydrate that can be found in fruits like oranges and apples and vegetables like tomatoes. The difference between these two types of cells lies mainly in their structure, content, function, and purpose within an organism. 

Bacteria use their cell wall to maintain shape while resisting osmotic pressure from outside sources; plants need theirs to keep their rigid structure against gravity so it has the ability to grow upwards or downwards without breaking apart at any point along its length.

Keep reading this blog post till the end to know details about how do bacterial cell walls differ from plant cell walls.

How Do Bacterial Cell Walls Differ From Plant Cell Walls

What are Bacterial Cell Walls?

Bacterial cell walls are peptidoglycan, a mesh-like polymer built from many short polymers of two different subunits called amino acids. They are arranged in long strands cross-linked by more temporary bridges, thereby forming the protective barrier around cells.

What do Bacterial Cell Walls Contain?

In addition to peptidoglycan, bacterial cells also have teichoic acids. These are 50S ribosomal subunits that are docked on the cytoplasmic membrane surface and help make up a layer of material called the S-layer.

They can either be linked directly or through lipids to form lipoteichoic acids. Both peptidoglycan and teichoic acid help provide a rigid structure to the cell wall, which is required for withstanding osmotic pressure and other forces that may be present in the environment.

What Are The Functions of a Bacterial Cell Wall?

Teichoic acids also contribute to this effect

The primary role of the cell wall is to provide structural support. A secondary function of a bacterial cell wall is protection since it acts as a barrier that even huge particles cannot penetrate. In addition to these functions, the peptidoglycan layer also acts as a permeability barrier which helps control.

What enters and exits through passive diffusion. Teichoic acids also contribute to this effect by inhibiting the movement of long-chain lipids and ions.

How Do Bacterial Cell Walls Differ From Plant Cell Walls?

Bacterial cells lack a cell wall located between the plasma membrane and cytoplasm in plant cells. A bacterial cell wall protects against osmotic pressure. This difference leads to the inability of bacteria to carry out cell division in the presence of high salt concentrations because water will flow out through osmosis.

The lack of a cell wall allows for easier diffusion of nutrients into bacterial cells, but it requires more significant expenditure on active transport mechanisms to expel waste products.

Bacteria also lack a complex membrane system such as the chloroplast found in plant cells. They do not have an organized internal structure, and their DNA is unbound, making them lose single strands rather than double-stranded helixes like plant and animal cells.

The cell membrane of bacteria comprises phospholipids and fatty acids, which are made up of a hydrophilic and hydrophobic end.

The phospholipid bilayer serves as a barrier for the plasma membrane and contains embedded proteins that allow bacteria to obtain nutrients from their surroundings by utilizing active transport mechanisms.

Unlike plant cells, bacterial cell walls do not contain cellulose; instead, they have peptidoglycan made up of glycan chains and amino acids. Peptidoglycan also increases bacterial cell rigidity and acts as a permeability barrier to prevent osmotic lysis from occurring.

Type of Bacterial Cell:

the outer membrane of Gram-negative cells

1. Gram-positive

Gram-positive bacteria have a thick cell wall composed of peptidoglycan, unlike the thin peptidoglycan layer found in Gram-negative cells. In addition to adding extra protection, this also makes it possible for Gram-positive cells to retain the crystal violet dye after staining. In addition, the individual polymers making up the cell wall are typically arranged uniformly.

2. Gram-negative

Gram-negative bacteria have a thin cell wall, which is composed of a lipid bilayer rather than peptidoglycan. This gives the outer membrane of Gram-negative cells more of an “oil” appearance when stained with the Gram stain. In addition, the outside of a Gram-negative cell is usually decorated with various sugars that project from the surface of the lipid bilayer regularly.

Type of Plant Cell:

prokaryotic cells reproduce by binary fission

1. Eukaryotic Cells

Eukaryotic cells are organized into compartments by membranes, each membrane being delimited by a distinct phospholipid bi-layer containing proteins embedded within it. The largest of these structures is the endomembranes, including the nuclear membrane surrounding the nucleus and other organelles.

Eukaryotic cells have a cytoskeleton that is made up of three different types of protein strands. These are called microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments. The cytoskeleton helps the cell keep its shape. Eukaryotic DNA is divided into several linear bundles called chromosomes, separated by a microtubular spindle during nuclear division.

2. Prokaryotic Cells

Prokaryotic cells lack membrane-bound organelles and cytoskeleton instead of having only a cell membrane to define the cell boundary. Bacterial DNA is not composed of separate chromosomes but instead forms a circular structure called the nucleoid.

The nucleoid contains a single chromosome with very few associated proteins, making it unnecessary to spindle the DNA during cell division. As a result, prokaryotic cells reproduce by binary fission rather than mitosis or meiosis, which eukaryotes use.

Characteristics of Bacterial Cell Walls and Plant Cell Walls:

Bacterial walls are made up of a mixture of peptidoglycan and other components, such as teichoic acids. The cell wall provides strength to the bacteria’s outer membrane. It also prevents over-expansion when water enters the cell.

In contrast to plant cells, there is no cellulose or other carbohydrate polymer in a bacterium’s cell wall. The cell wall is essential for bacterial growth because it maintains the shape and rigidity of the cells and separates them.

This rigid cell wall is present around the cytoplasmic membrane and is made of peptidoglycan (also called murein ). Gram-negative cells have a second outer layer in the cell wall, which is outside the peptidoglycan layer.

How to Identify Plant Cell Walls?

This structure has a function analogous to that of a plant cell wall

Plant cells contain a thick layer (30–75 μm depending on the plant) of rigid cell walls, composed primarily of polysaccharides and lignin. The primary polymers comprising the cell wall are cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin.

The cellulose microfibrils are linked via hemicellulosic tethers to form the rigid cell wall. This structure provides the plant cell with its strength and separates the interior of the cells (where photosynthesis occurs) from their surrounding environment.

Bacteria, in contrast, lack a cell wall. This structure has a function analogous to that of a plant cell wall. It is found in prokaryotes and eukaryotes but not in other life forms. Bacterial cell walls, for this reason, are composed mainly of peptidoglycan, which provides the cell wall with its shape and acts as a barrier for specific molecules.


The plant cell walls are made up of cellulose, which is a long chain of sugar. Plant cells have rigid cell walls because the polysaccharide chains form cross-linked structures that can be assembled or disassembled by enzymes in response to environmental stimuli. This process allows plants to adapt and grow under changing conditions.

Bacterial cell walls are not as flexible due to different compositions; they contain peptidoglycan instead of cellulose, making them more sturdy against harsh environments but limiting their ability to grow when faced with stressful environmental changes.

We hope this blog post has given you some insights into how do bacterial cell walls differ from plant cell walls. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this topic!

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