What is cell envelope? Name the three layers that form the cell envelope in prokaryotes.

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Cell envelope of prokaryotes like bacteria is a three-layered structure. These three layers are:

  1. Glycocalyx (Outermost layer): May be present in the form of loose sheath called slime layer in some bacteria, or as a thick and tough capsule in others. 
  2. Cell wall (middle layers): Determines the shape of a cell and provides a strong structural support
  3. Plasma Membrane (innermost layers): Semi-permeable and structurally similar to that of eukaryotic cells.​
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Cell envelope is a combination of the cell membrane, cell wall, if present, and an outer membrane, if present. Usually, this envelope is a characteristic of prokaryotes like bacteria. Hence, the composition is cell membrane + bacterial cell wall + bacterial outer membrane (made of glycocalyx).?

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