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Central Vacuole

Central Vacuole

Author: Amanda Soderlind

Plant cells have a structure known as a large central vacuole. Central vacuoles are filled with watery fluid in order to maintain the life of the cell. Learn how plant cells are able to increase in size by enlarging the central vacuole. Examine the many roles of the central vacuole that contribute to sustaining the life of a plant cell.

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Vacuoles are found floating in the cytoplasm of plant and animal cells.

The main functions of vacuoles are:

-water storage


-getting rid of cellular waste

In most plant cells you would find one large vacuole. Animal cells may have smaller vacuoles or may not have vacuoles at all. In plants vacuoles play an additional role. When a plants vacuole is full of water it helps the cells become more rigid and therefore the plant as a whole is more rigid. If you have ever forgotten to water your plants you will notice the leaves wilt. This is because the vacuoles are empty and therefore there is less rigidity in the plant.

Vacuole in a plant cell

Vacuole in an animal cell

vacuole audio