Q:

What is the function of the vacuole?

A:

Quick Answer

The function of the vacuole depends on the type of cell in which it is found. One of the main functions of the vacuole is to isolate materials that might be harmful to the cell.

Continue Reading
What is the function of the vacuole?
Credit: yellowcloud CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Vacuoles are membrane-bound organelles that are found in cells of plants, animals and fungi. Plant cells tend to have a large central vacuole, while the vacuoles in animal cells tend to be smaller. The main function of vacuoles is to contain the waste products of the cells and isolate them from the rest of the organelles and the cytoplasm. Vacuoles maintain an acidic pH internally. This allows them to denature misfolded proteins transferred to the vacuole from the cytoplasm. The vacuoles can also help remove unwanted or toxic materials from the cells by exporting them to the cell membrane, where they are released to the outside surroundings of the cell. This process is known as exocytosis. New vacuoles can be formed in cells such as amoeba in order to engulf material that is outside the cell and bring it inside. This process is known as endocytosis. In plants, the vacuole stores water and maintains the internal hydrostatic pressure of the cell. By providing the pressure within plant cells, vacuoles allow plants to support their leaves and flowers.

Learn more about Botany
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    In plant cells, what does the vacuole do?

    A:

    In plant cells, a vacuole is a large structure that stores water, food, nutrients and waste. Vacuoles help the plant cell by holding things the cell needs to survive and protecting it from contamination by waste.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does a vacuole contain?

    A:

    A vacuole contains a fluid-filled sac that stores salts, water, minerals, nutrients, pigments and proteins within a membrane barrier called a tonoplast. Vacuoles can also contain waste products that make a plant taste bitter to animals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What would happen if a cell didn't have a vacuole?

    A:

    If a cell did not have a vacuole, it would be unable to carry out its usual functions and would eventually die. In plants, the vacuole plays an important role in water storage and the maintenance of structure. In animals, the vacuole is much smaller, but also performs essential functions related to protection of the cell, isolation of waste products and more. Vacuoles are also present in fungi and bacteria.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does a cell membrane come into contact with water?

    A:

    The vacuole is the site where a cell membrane comes into contact with water. A vacuole, which is an organelle found in a cell's cytoplasm, has a membrane called a tonoplast that surrounds it. The function of this membrane is as a barrier between the salty fluid of the cytoplasm and the contents of the vacuole.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore