The vacuole of a plant cell is one of its most important components. This is an organelle which has a membrane. It is an enclosed compartment of the cell which is filled with water. The water in the vacuole contains inorganic and organic molecules. A vacuole is formed thanks to the fusion of multiple membrane vesicles. It does not have a specific shape or a certain size, as it depends of the cell and on its specific needs. However, the vacuole has some functions, regarding the type of cell in which it is located. One of the main roles of it is to isolate the materials that may harm the cell. Keeping the water in the plant is also a “task” of the vacuole, as it is to keep in it the waste products of the cell. The internal hydrostatic pressure is an element that this organelle needs to handle in order to protect the cell. It also has to maintain an acid PH and to keep in it small molecules. The unnecessary substances of the cell are exported by it, because it needs to store the proteins.
Autophagy or the process in which the elements of a cell are degraded also has a lot to do with the vacuole, because it needs to ensure the perfect balance between the biogenesis and the turnover of substances in the structure of the cell. Recycling of proteins is another task of it and it happens while it offers aid in the lysis process that occurs inside the cell. Thomas Boller came up with a theory that says that a vacuole can easily destroy bacteria that invades a cell, while Robert B. Mellor affirms that it can house the symbiotic bacteria.
The vacuole existing in a plant cell occupies about 30% of the cell generally, but in certain situations it can expand to occupy up to 80% of it, if necessary. It is surrounded by tonoplast, which is also known in biology as vacuolar membrane. This substance surrounds and separates it from the cytoplasm. Its role is to regulate the movement of ions in the cell and to isolate substances that represent a threat to the cell. The vacuole is one of the most important components of the cell and if you plan to learn about it, you should focus mainly on its functions, which are very important.