Difference between Cell wall and Cell membrane for class 9

difference between cell wall and cell membrane
Cell wall Vs cell membrane

The main difference between the cell wall and the cell membrane is that the cell membrane is present in all cells, While the cell wall is only present in plants, bacteria, fungi, and algae. More differences between cell membrane and cell wall are given below in the tabular form.

Table of contents:

  • Cell wall definition
  • Cell wall functions
  • Cell membrane definition
  • Cell membrane functions
  • Cell wall Vs Cell membrane
  • Related Questions and much more

Keep reading…

What is cell wall?

The cell wall composed of peptidoglycan is present in a bacterium. The cell wall composed of chitin is present in fungi. The cell wall is metabolically inactive but the cell membrane is metabolically active.

The cell wall protects the shape of the cell and maintains it, while the cell membrane protects the cytoplasm and osmotic balance in a cell.

Functions of Cell Wall

The main functions of the cell wall are:

  • Shape and Rigidity: Provides a definite shape to the cell and keeps it rigid.
  • Permeable: It does not act as a barrier to the materials passing through it.
  • Support and strength: Provides mechanical strength and support for the individual cell and to the plant as a whole.
  • Movement of water and Minerals: Water and minerals can move through an interconnected system of the cell walls in plant cells.
  • Protection: Protects the cells from osmotic lysis.

What is Cell membrane?

The cell membrane is found in animal cells and the cell wall in plant cells. The cell wall covers the cell membrane and forms the outer covering. The cell membrane is partially permeable, but the cell wall is completely permeable.

The cell membrane does not contain cellulose, the cell wall does. The cell wall is elastic, the cell membrane is not. The cell wall controls the turgor of a cell, the plasma membrane does not.

Functions of Cell Membrane

The main functions of the cell membrane are:

  • Selectively Permeable Membrane: Membrane acts as a barrier between cells’ internal and external environment.
  • Transport of Material: Fat-soluble substances cross the cell membrane more easily than others.
  • Facilitated transport: The movement of ionic material like water molecules, ions, or radicals is carried across the membrane only with the help of proteins. it is called facilitated transport.
  • Active transport: The transport of molecules across the membrane against concentration gradient with the expenditure of energy is called active transport. It is an uphill movement.
  • Passive Transport: The transport of molecules across the membrane along a concentration gradient without utilizing energy is called passive transport. It is a downhill movement.
  • Endocytosis: The inward movement of the materials by infolding of the cell membrane in the form of vacuole or vesicle is known as endocytosis.
  • Exocytosis: The outward transportation of materials from the cell then such process is called exocytosis.
  • Nerve Impulse Transmission: In nerve cells, the plasma membrane transmits nerve impulses from one part of the body to other parts to keep coordination.

Read also: Difference between active and Passive transport

Difference between Cell wall and Cell membrane in Tabular form



1. It is present in plants only. Bacteria also have cell walls. 1. Animals do not have cell walls.
2. The cell wall is the outermost boundary of plant cells. The cell membrane is inside the cell wall in plants. 2. It is the outermost boundary of the animal cells.
3. Cell walls are permeable. 3. Cell membranes are selectively permeable.
4. Cell walls are largely made up of cellulose. 4. Cell membranes are largely made up of lipids and proteins.

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