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Question Video: Recalling the Functions of a Plant Cell Wall Biology

The image provided shows a group of plant cells, each containing many chloroplasts and surrounded by a cell wall. Which of the following is not a function of a plant cell wall? [A] To provide mechanical strength to the cell, ensuring it does not burst under osmotic pressure. [B] To maintain the shape and structure of the cell. [C] To allow water to pass through and into the rest of the plant. [D] To receive signals and communication from other cells by the use of receptors.

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Video Transcript

The image provided shows a group of plant cells, each containing many chloroplasts and surrounded by a cell wall. Which of the following is not a function of a plant cell wall? (A) To provide mechanical strength to the cell, ensuring it does not burst under osmotic pressure. (B) To maintain the shape and structure of the cell. (C) To allow water to pass through and into the rest of the plant. (D) To receive signals and communication from other cells by the use of receptors.

Let’s remove the image so we have more space to work out which is the correct answer. This question asks us about the role of the cell wall in plants. Plant cells differ from animal cells because they contain a cell wall composed of cellulose that surrounds the plasma membrane. The cell wall serves many functions. Some of these functions include providing strength, support, shape, and protection for the cell. Take note that even though the cell wall forms the outermost layer of the plant cell, plant cell receptors are membrane bound and located within the plasma membrane.

The cell wall is absolutely necessary for facilitating the upright growth of plants. It does not only provide the structural support for this to occur, but it also prevents the cell from bursting when it absorbs too much water. A plant is able to take up water and store it in an organelle called a vacuole. When a plant is well watered, it should stand up straight and tall. But when a plant does not have sufficient water, it will sag. This is because the vacuoles in the plant cells are not adequately filled. However, when the plant has sufficient amounts of water, the vacuoles will swell and push against the cell wall. This is called osmotic pressure. The cell wall ultimately prevents the cell from bursting, and it also allows water to pass through to enter the plant itself.

Now that we’ve discussed the role of the cell wall in plants, we can go through the answer options to find the answer which does not describe a function of the cell wall. We have learned that the cell wall provides mechanical strength to the cell, ensuring it does not burst under osmotic pressure. We have also learned that it maintains the shape and structure of the cell. In order for the plant cells to be able to take up water, the cell wall has to allow water to pass through and into the rest of the plant. The correct answer to “Which of the following is not a function of a plant cell wall?” is (D): to receive signals and communication from other cells by the use of receptors.

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