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Cell Vacuole Essay

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  • Essay length: 1714 words
  • Submitted: 20/08/2003
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AS and A Level Molecules & Cells

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Cell Vacuole Essay

Cell vacuoles are present in both animal cells and plant cells. Those found in animal cells are usually relatively small such as phagocytic vacuoles, food vacuoles, autophagic vacuoles and contractile vacuoles.

Plants, however, have much larger cell vacuoles which are usually the largest structure in a plant cell often dominating the inside of the cell, crowding other organelles to the cell wall. The vacuole is bound by a very active membrane called the tonoplast.

There are many different types of vacuoles, each with their own specialised functions. Here are examples of some common types of cell vacuoles:

* Plant sap vacuole - present only in plants

* Contractile vacuole

* Food vacuole

* Lysosomes

* Pinocytic vesicles

As mentioned earlier, the plant cell vacuole is surrounded by a membrane, the tonoplast. This membrane separates the cytoplasm from the vacuole and controls the exchange of substances between the vacuole and the cytoplasm.

An important feature of plant vacuoles is its osmotic properties. These are responsible for a variety of essential processes that occur in plants including support by turgidity to water transport throughout the

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