The cell wall porosity of batch-grown Saccharomyces cerevisiae was maximal in the early exponential phase and fell off rapidly to lower levels in later growth phases. Treatment of stationary-phase cells with alpha-mannosidase restored wall porosity to the level of cells in early exponential phase. When cells in the early exponential phase were treated with alpha-mannosidase, or tunicamycin, an inhibitor of N-glycosylation, even higher porosities were obtained. Mutants with truncated mannan side-chains in their wall proteins also had very porous walls. The importance of the mannan side-chains for wall porosity was also seen during sexual induction. Treatment with alpha pheromone, which leads to the formation of wall proteins with shorter mannan side-chains, enhanced wall porosity. Disulphide bridges also affect cell wall porosity. They were predominantly found in the glucanase-soluble wall proteins. Because the main part of the mannan side-chains is also found in this family of wall proteins, our results demonstrate that the glucanase-soluble mannoproteins limit cell wall porosity in yeast.