Fungal walls have commanded much attention as they are the major cellular features that distinguish fungi from other organisms. The shape of the fungal cell is the shape of its wall. The mechanical strength of their walls enables fungi to assume a variety of forms, such as penetrative, ramifying hyphae, proliferating yeast cells and spores of many shapes and sizes. The chemical and physical make-up of the wall gives protection to the protoplast from a range of environmental stresses. Its physical strength gives protection against osmotic bursting. Specific components, especially of spore walls, give protection against damage from ultraviolet radiation, enzymic lysis, organic solvents, toxic chemicals and desiccation. Some secreted materials may be considered as periplasmic, as they are secreted from the plasma membrane but do not move through the wall to the outside.


Hyphal Growth Neurospora Crassa Cell Wall Biosynthesis Spore Wall General Microbiology 
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Copyright information

© Neil A.R. Gow and Geoffrey M. Gadd 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. W. Gooday
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Marischal CollegeUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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