MadSci Network: Botany

Re: what good is a vacuole?

Date: Thu Nov 27 00:51:53 2003
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1069905747.Bt

Vacuoles are a prominent feature of plant cells where they have several functions. Recent research has revealed that a plant cell may contain at least two major types of vacuoles, lytic and storage. Lytic refers to item 6.

  1. Plant vacuoles serve as a "cellular trashbag" for all sorts of compounds and ions such as salt, mineral nutrients, heavy metals and organic compounds, that would be toxic if they were in the cytoplasm.

  2. Anthocyanin pigments occur in plant vacuoles. Anthocyanins provide colors other than green for many flowers and fruits. Fruits that get their color from anthocyanins include apple, grape, raspberry, cherry and Indian corn. Anthocyanins also provide the red colors in fall leaves and colors in some variegated leaves, such as coleus, and nongreen leaves, such as red onion, purple cabbage, red cabbage, purpleleaf plum and red Japanese maple.

  3. Plant vacuoles accumulate enough dissolved compounds to give the plant cell a low enough osmotic potential to absorb water via osmosis.

  4. In conjunction with the cell wall, the vacuole functions to provide turgor for plant cells. Turgor is required for the cell enlargement that is essential for growth.

  5. Vacuoles can store protein or carbohydrates.

  6. Vacuoles may contain hydrolytic enzymes and function in degradation.

Vacuolar Compartments

Plant vacuoles

Re: Why can plants that extract heavy metals store them without harm?

Re: What is the effect of saltwater on freshwater plants (elodea)?

Re: How can anthocyanins be seperated from the solution of pigment extracted ?

Plant vacuole functions

Current Queue | Current Queue for Botany | Botany archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Botany.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2003. All rights reserved.