Do Animal Cells Have A Central Vacuole: Detailed Insights And Facts

A membrane-bound organelle inside the living cell which is space is called Vacuole. Here we will discuss about Do Animal Cells Have A Central Vacuole.

Central vacuole is not possessed by animal cells! A large central vacuole is present in the plant cell which acts as a storage place. It covers a lot of areas of plant cells, animal cells have lysosomes and centrosomes at the place of a central vacuole. 

You should have adequate proficiency in the central vacuole. We are going to examine the central vacuole in detail. 

What Cells Have A Central Vacuole ?

First, you should know what vacuoles are, it is a large space inside a cell. Now you will be thinking, do animal cells have a central vacuole?

No, they do not possess a prominent vacuole. Plant cells have an enormous central vacuole which is globular and is filled with molecules and sap. In a plant cell, the central vacuole maintains the turgor pressure and it also stores water for various plant cells activities. 

Central vacuole also nudges the substances of the cell towards the plasma membrane. What is the need of pushing the contents towards the central membrane? The need of pushing the contents towards the central membrane is that it helps in making food, the plant cells can take more light energy

This does not mean that vacuoles are only found in the plant cell. In animals, protists, bacteria, and fungi cells also vacuole is present. There is no need to perplex between a vacuole and a central vacuole. You should be clear that vacuoles are present in animal cells, bacterial cells, fungal cells, protists, and plant cells. But a large prominent vacuole is existing only in the plant cells

Strengthening the turgor pressure in the plant cell is the crucial function of a central vacuole. What is turgor pressure? The contents of the cells pushing against the cell wall are called the turgor pressure. This type of pressure is only found in the cells which have cell walls like plant cells, fungal cells, and bacterial cells. 

The reason for the change in the turgor pressure changes in osmosis. What is the connotation of the term osmosis? The meaning of the term osmosis is the diffusion of water that takes place in a cell. 

When there is more concentration of water molecules outside the cell as compared to inside the cell then the solution is called a hypotonic solution. In this situation, the water enters the plant cell and then the vacuole is filled with water. We can say that this ailment is the optimal condition that should be there in the plant cell. 

Plant Cell from Pinterest

Why Do Animal Cells Not Have A Central Vacuole?

We have comprehended till now that plant cells have a prominent vacuole and animal cells do not have a prominent vacuole. We have already got the explanation to the question: do animal cells have a central vacuole?

The answer was no. But now we have to understand why animal cells do not have a central vacuole. As we said, animal cells do have a small vacuole, they have a vacuole of small size because there is no need for pressure and rigidity. In animal cells, the main objective of the vacuole is to benefit the movement of entities in and out of the cell. They diffuse materials out of the membrane, transport them to it where required. 

Do Animal Cells Have A Central Vacuole
Animal Cell Anatomy from Pinterest

Vacuoles help in exocytosis, they carry the waste materials outside the cell across the cell membrane through diffusion. In animal cells, vacuoles are existing in more numbers and are minor. 

Why Plant Cells Have Large Vacuoles Than Animal Cells? 

The plant cells have a large central vacuole because it performs two functions in the plant cell.

The two functions are to keep the plant in a straight position and the second is to store water. The pressure is applied to the cell also on the surrounding cytoplasm when the vacuole is filled with water. They have to store food and water, for that purpose, there is a need to have a large central vacuole. As we know plants cannot move so they need to have a space for storing food and water. Plant cells use that nutrition and water when the circumstances are not acceptable. 

Vacuoles in plant cells not only store food and water but also protect the plant cell from potential harm. They also act as a cleaner inside a plant cell. Do you know what will arise if the vacuole of a plant cell is vacant? The plant will start shrinking and ultimately lose its rigidity and start dying. Now you must have comprehended the necessity for a large prominent vacuole inside the cell. 

Do All Cells Have A Central Vacuole?

We already answered the question: do animal cells have a central vacuole?

Now we need to know if all cells have a central vacuole. No, all cells do not possess a central vacuole. There is a need for a large central vacuole in plant cells and plastids like chloroplasts to maintain the pressure and turgidity in the cell. 

Plant Cell Central Vacuole

There are two parts of a central vacuole, the two parts are tonoplast and cell sap. The fluid part of the central vacuole is cell sap which is mostly made up of water but it also contains other elements like salts, waste materials, ions, in some cases it also contains pigment molecules and nutrients. 

The membrane of the central vacuole is the tonoplast which is also known as a vacuolar membrane. The chore of the prominent vacuole is to separate the central vacuole’s content from the remainder of the cell. Like plasma membranes, the central vacuole also has proteins and phospholipids. The water entry in the tonoplast can be controlled by proteins present in its membrane. The tonoplast also supports restraining the movements of ions such as potassium.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do all cells have vacuoles? 

A. Vacuoles are present in animal cells as well as plant cells but the difference is in the size.

In-plant cells large size central vacuole is present while in animal cells it is present in a small size but a large number. They store food and water in the plant and use them when the conditions are not favorable for the survival of the plant. In a plant cell, a central vacuole can take a lot of space, even up to 90 percent. 

Q. What is the exact meaning of a central vacuole? 

A. It is a cellular organelle that is present in plant cells for storing food and water and using them under unsuitable conditions.

There is a requirement of maintaining pressure and turgidity inside a cell so a central vacuole helps in doing that. It provides structural support to the plant. 

Q. Why animal cells don’t have a central vacuole?

A. Animal cells do not have a central vacuole because they do not require it to maintain turgidity and pressure inside the cell like plant cells.

The animal does not possess a cell wall so they do not oblige a central vacuole. They have small vacuoles in more numbers as compared to plane cells for the movement of materials in a cell. You should know that an animal cell has a vacuole but not a central vacuole, do not create any confusion between the two. 

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