Vacuole

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Objective: To find and learn about the Vacuole!

After a long day of searching for organelles, it’s time I got a break… maybe I’ll get a sip of water at the vacuole! Can you find the vacuole in the picture?

<Scroll to bottom for correct location…>
 
Vacuole:

Introduction:

There are many kinds of vacuoles in cells. For one, there are food vacuoles used in phagocytosis in most eukaryotic cells, and contractile vacuoles in freshwater protists. But for plant cells, there is one large central vacuole that plays an important role in the plant. First off, plants lack lysosomes, so the vacuole does hydrolysis to replace it. We will explore more characteristics of the vacuole down below:

How does it work?:

Central vacuoles in plants first develops when smaller vacuoles from the ER and the Golgi Apparatus come together and form the vacuole. The vacuole’s membrane is selective in exchanging solutes, and the cell sap inside it is different from the cytoplasm. Of course, the central vacuole also stores water and other necessary nutrients like the vacuoles in animal cells, but it has even more responsibilities, as explained in the next paragraph.

Storage:

The central vacuole had a variety of duties, such as storing important organic compounds. For instance, in seeds there are vital proteins stored in the central vacuoles. It also stores inorganic ions that are also important to survival, such as potassium and chloride. However, storage is not the only thing the central vacuole provides. The central vacuole also acts as a disposal site for byproducts that are dangerous in high concentrations. Other functions of the central vacuole include storing pigments that color the plant cells to attract pollinators, containing poison to ward of predators, and making the plant cell turgid and bigger without having to wast energy on making new cytoplasm.

As one can see, the central vacuole takes up the majority of the space in the plant cell, allowing it to expand and fill up more space.

 

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