Introduction of Vacuoles | Structure | Functions

By | July 7, 2018

Although Vacuoles are present in both animal and plant cells, they are particularly large and abundant in plant cells, often occupying a major portion of the cell volume and forcing the remaining intracellular structures into a thin peripheral layer.

Structure of Vacuoles:

These are bound by a single membrane and are formed by the coalescence of smaller vacuole during the plant’s growth and development. The membrane of vacuole is composed of phospholipids. In the membrane-embedded proteins are present which allow the transportation of molecules.



  1. Vacuoles of plant cells are larger than those found in animal cells. The central vacuole present in plant cells is one of the important cell organelles.
  2. The central vacuole, surrounded by tonoplast, offers support to cells which constitute leaves and other soft parts of plants.
  3. The solutes present in vacuoles are known to absorb water.
  4. When water enters the vacuoles, cells become inflated; it allows the soft parts of plants (for example, leaves) to retain their shape and turgidity.
  5. In short, vacuole help in maintaining the cell in a proper shape.
  6. In animal’s cells, vacuoles play a subordinate role in the processes of endocytosis and exocytosis.
  7. In exocytosis, proteins and lipids are expelled from cells which is the major function of the vacuole.
  8. They don’t play a direct role in the extrusion of lipids and proteins.
  9. However, they act as containers of lipids and proteins.
  10. They also perform exocytosis. It is the reverse of exocytosis.


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