What Are the Main Functions of a Vacuole?

The vacuole in cells have three main functions which are to provide the plant with support or rigidity, a storage area for nutrients and waste matter and can decompose complex molecules, according to British Society for Cell Biology. In plant cells, the vacuole also can store water. Plant and animal cells can contain vacuoles, which are fluid-filled sacs enclosed by a membrane wall, reports Biology4Kids.

In plant cells, vacuoles can occupy up to 90 percent of a cell's volume. Similarly, vacuoles of plant cells are larger than those in animal cells, states the British Society for Cell Biology. The membrane that encloses a vacuole is called a tonoplast.

Besides vacuoles, some other organelles or structures found in both animal and plant cells are cytoplasm, endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, ribosomes, mitochondria and Golgi vesicles.