Do Plants Cells Have Vacuoles? 9 Complete Facts

Vacuoles are small membrane bound organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. Let us discuss if plant cells have vacuoles or not in details below.

Plant cells generally contain vacuoles which are small in size and help in storing waste products. The size of vacuoles differs based on the cell types and the conditions of plant growth.

Presence of vacuoles in plants is highly important in growth and development of plants. These vacuoles are filled with fluid and almost take up around 40 percent of the total space.

Let us discuss the number of vacuoles in a plant cell, its location, function and many other related facts in this article.

How many vacuoles are in a plant cell?

Plant cells have vacuoles with different functions. Let us talk more about the number of vacuoles in plant cells.

Plant cells have multiple vacuoles with each having its own function. Plant cells consists of two vacuolar compartments which performs different functions. In plant cells, there is one larger central vacuole and two small vacuoles.

Where are the vacuoles located in plant cell?

Plant cells contain vacuoles in different shapes and with different functions. Let us discuss in details the location of vacuoles in plant cells.

In plants, vacuoles are found in the cytoplasmic matrix. Vacuoles are membrane bound organelle surrounded by a membrane known as “Tonoblast”. Its components are known as cell sap, which contains different constituents than the rest of the cell.

Image of Plant cell. Image credit: Wikipedia

Since vacuoles are present near to the chloroplast, they maintain a structural integrity of the cell. The constituents of vacuoles include organic and inorganic nutrients which are useful for the plant cells in variety of ways.

Function of vacuoles in plant cells

Vacuoles in plant cells serves variety of purposes which varies depending on the cell types. Let us talk more about its function in detail below.

Functions of vacuoles in plant cells are underlined below.

  • Water balance in plant cells is maintained by the help of vacuoles.
  • Vacuoles help in sequestration of waste products in the cells. 
  • Vacuoles provide structural integrity and support the overall skeleton of the nucleus and the cell.
  • Vacuoles are the storage hub of pigments, nutrients, genome, iron, sugar and various cellular products.
  • It helps in maintaining the osmotic balance inside the plant cell wall.
  • Vacuoles maintain the structure of plant cell by controlling the turgor pressure.

Do plant cells have large vacuoles?

Vacuoles are found in both plants and animals but the size may vary in both organisms. Let us discuss more about the vacuole size in detail in case of the plant cells.

Plant cells contain larger vacuoles as they play an essential role in storing water and other nutrients that are required by the plant cells for their growth and function.

Vacuoles found in animals are smaller in size. A much larger vacuole is found in plants which has stopped growing over a period of time and helps in storing food and water.

Do plant cells have a food vacuole?

Food vacuole is a membrane containing sac found in certain organisms. Let us talk more about whether plant cells contain food vacuoles or not.

Plant cells and animal cells contain food vacuoles. It is also present in unicellular protozoans as well for example amoeba, plasmodium, etc. as they play a role in the digestion of the food ingested.

Food vacuoles are generally formed inside the cells by the fusion of phagosomes and pinosomes. Certain hydrolyzing enzymes which help in the digestion of food are found inside food vacuoles.

Do plant cells have contractile vacuoles?

Contractile vacuoles are sub-cellular organelles that are involved in the process of osmoregulation. Let us talk more about the contractile vacuole in details below.

Plant cells do not contain contractile vacuole instead these are found in amoeba and some of the unicellular algae. The role of contractile vacuoles is to expel out excess of water from the cells and also act as a protective mechanism against cell rupturing.

Contractile vacuoles are generally present in freshwater organisms to remove excess water and also in paramoecium and other single celled organisms that does not have a cell wall.

Do plant cells have a permanent vacuole?

Membrane bound vacuoles are found in both plants and animals. Let us talk more about the permanent vacuoles in plants in detail.

Plant cells have a large single permanent vacuole in the center inside the cell cytoplasm. The membrane around the vacuole is called tonoblast and it is filled with sap which is a sugar and salt fluid filled inside it.

Permanent Vacuole in Plant cell Image from Wikipedia

In animals, small and temporary vacuoles are present. Plant cells require permanent vacuoles to keep the cell content against the cell wall and it also keeps the cell turgid.


To conclude the article, we can say that plant cells have vacuoles that serves a variety of purpose such as, storage of food, water, minerals and nutrients. Vacuoles including the food vacuoles are found in plants, animals, bacterial cells and protozoans.

Sneha Sah

Hey! I am Sneha Sah, I have completed post graduation in Biotechnology. Science has always been fascinating to me and writing is my passion. As an academic writer my aim is to make Science easy and simple to learn and read. Reach me at-

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