Do Prokaryotes Have Vacuoles? 9 Complete Facts

The vacuolar membrane is called the ‘tonoplast‘ which helps keep a cell in a state of osmotic balance. Let us see if prokaryotic cells have vacuoles.

Prokaryotes have vacuoles but they are small compared to eukaryotes such as gas vacuoles. The vacuoles in some cyanobacteria are rather like the cardboard dividers in packing boxes. They are made of protein.

Let us discuss where it is located, its functions, its type, number and many other related facts in this article.

How many vacuoles are in a prokaryotic cell?

Vacuoles, in plants are designed for the storage of food, and like lysosomes in animal cells, they digest food. Let us learn the number of vacuoles are present in a prokaryote.

The vacuoles present in the cell of a prokaryote is lesser in number and smaller in size than the vacuoles present in a eukaryote as prokaryotes are minimal in organelle.

Where are the vacuoles located in prokaryotic cells?

Vacuoles are of various types in prokaryotes: food vacuole, contractile vacuole or gas vacuole. Let us see the exact location of vacuoles in prokaryotic cells.

The vacuoles of prokaryotes are located in the region of cytoplasm. One example is the gas vacuole present inside the bacteria which has a hollow cylindrical structure. It is also known as gas vesicles. It helps the bacteria to float at the desired depth in water by providing buoyancy.

Gas vesicles of halobacterial cell from Wikipedia

Functions of vacuoles in prokaryotic cell

Vacuoles are of different types in different organisms. Prokaryotic cell vacuoles are present in the form of food and contractile vacuoles. Let us learn more about its functions.

Major functions of vacuoles in prokaryotic cell are given below:

  • Maintain internal hydrostatic pressure or turgor within the cell.
  • Maintain an acidic internal pH.
  • Stores waste products.
  • Stores smaller molecules.
  • Vacuoles present in protists like amoeba plays a very important role in osmo regulation and excretion.

Do all prokaryotes have vacuoles?

Vacuoles are of various types and functions based on the type of organism. Let us discover if all prokaryotes have vacuoles or not.

Not all prokaryotic cells have vacuoles as they are membrane-bound cell organelles which are mostly absent in prokaryotic cell. Some of the species of bacterial cell possess vacuoles that are present in the form of gas and food vacuoles.

Do prokaryotic cell have small or large vacuoles?

Most vacuoles that are found in prokaryotes are considered as “fake vacuoles” due to the presence of air bubbles inside it. Let us see if they are small or large.

Prokaryotes have smaller vacuoles compared to eukaryotes. Bacteria has energy reserved as vacuoles which are mostly of different size, based on their location, structure and function.

Do prokaryotic cell have a food vacuole?

Prokaryotes have different types of vacuoles which perform a variety of functions. Let us learn if they have food vacuole or not.

Some prokaryotes have food vacuole that contains digestive enzyme which helps in the digestion of nutrients. Most of the bacteria have cylindrical and air filled gas vacuoles compared to that of food vacuoles.

Do prokaryotic cell have contractile vacuoles?

Contractile vacuoles help in the removal of toxic waste water and regulate the water concentration inside of a cell. Let us explore if prokaryotes have contractile vacuoles.

Most prokaryotes lack contractile vacuoles in them. It is a membrane bound cell organelle in single celled organisms that lack a cell wall. It occurs in fresh water protists, mainly in the kingdom protista as a whole.

Contractile vacuole from Wikipedia

Does the cell of a prokaryote have a permanent vacuole?

Vacuoles perform the function of balancing the water and also act as a storage house of wide range of ions. Let us see if prokaryotes have a permanent vacuole.

The cell of prokaryotes does not have a parmanent vacuole. The vacuole does its functions temporarily. They are minimal regarding the organelle.


From the above article, it can be concluded that prokaryotes have temporary, minimal, small, and few types of vacuole that helps in the maintenance and removal of toxic substances from the cell.

Bhairavi Rathord

Hello, I am Bhairavi Rathod, I have completed my Master's in Biotechnology and qualified ICAR NET 2021 in Agricultural Biotechnology. My area of specialization is Integrated Biotechnology. I have the experience to teach and write very complex things in a simple way for learners. My LinkedIn profile:

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