Cell wall of Fungi

General Knowledge on Cell Wall | Cell Biology | cell-biology

Cell wall of Fungi

The Cell walls of fungi contain complex polysaccharides called chitin, glucans, polysaccharides and mucopolysaccharides, waxes, and pigments. Chitin gives structural strength to the cell walls of fungi. The wall protects the cell from desiccation and predators.

Glucans present in the fungal cell wall are endotoxin-like substances that may stimulate the immune system. Fungal cell wall pigments such as melanin may be present to protect against ultraviolet radiation.

The fungal cell wall is uniquely composed of mannoproteins, chitins, and α- and β- linked glucans and serves many functions, including providing cell rigidity and shape, metabolism, ion exchange, and interactions with host defense mechanisms. The composition of the cell wall varies between species of fungi but a major component of many fungal cell walls is β1,3-glucan.

Fungal cell walls contain proteins that allow them to stick to the substratum. For pathogenic fungi, these adhesins are vital to the infection process, but even for saprophytic fungi, the ability to assess the environment and to adhere to a nutrient-rich substratum is an important function performed by cell wall proteins.

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