Cellular Basics

Cell Walls and Membranes

What’s the difference between a primary and secondary cell wall?

A primary cell wall is laid down during cell division and is relatively thin and flexible in order to accommodate cell enlargement and elongation. As the cell matures and stops growing, the wall strengthens. A secondary cell wall is present between the plasma membrane and primary cell wall in some cells and is often deposited in several laminated layers. This type of cell wall is strong and durable and provides both cell protection and support; for example, wood consists mainly of secondary cell walls.


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