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Is the cell wall in bacterial cells used for movement?

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mgoun | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2012 at 9:38 PM via web

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Is the cell wall in bacterial cells used for movement?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted October 26, 2012 at 12:02 AM (Answer #1)

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A cell wall is a structural feature found in certain types of cells but not others.  It is a polymer-based outer layer that exists outside of the cell membrane.  Cell walls are found in plant, bacteria, and fungus cells but not animal or protozoa cells.  In particular, the bacterial cell walls are composed of peptidoglycan, which is a polymer of sugar molecules with amino acids.  There are two major types of bacterial cell walls, Gram-positive and Gram-negative (depending on how the cell wall reacts with a color stain called Gram stain).  The cell walls are used mainly for structural support and protection.  It helps contain the cell's osmotic pressure as it takes in water via osmosis and keeps the cell membrane from bursting.  It is not used for movement, although the whip-like flagellum which protrudes from the cell wall is used for movement.

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