What is vacuole?
What Does vacuole Mean
The Latin term vacuum , which can be translated as "vacuum" , arrived in Spanish as vacuole . The concept is used in the field of biology to name an organelle of cells.
Specifically, we can say that vacuole is a neologism that first appeared in 18th century France under the guise of “vacuole”, although with a meaning that is not the current one. The one we now have must be stated that it is considered to be the “work” of the French biologist and botanist Félix Dujardin.
Vacuoles are small vesicles in the cells of fungi and plants that allow the storage of different substances , such as sugars or water. The fusion of various vesicles allows the development of vacuoles, whose contour is delimited by the plasma membrane.
It is important to underline that the shape of the vacuoles depends on each cell, since the cellular needs are not always the same. In fact, there are cells whose vacuoles grow over time until they fuse.
Pigments are often concentrated in vacuoles . This causes the cells to display different colors according to these pigments. In the case of plant cells, their hue depends on anthocyanins , a pigment that is stored in vacuoles.
In addition to all the above, it is worth knowing other data of interest about vacuoles such as the following:
-They are variable in size, which means that they can occupy from 5% to 90% of what is the cell volume .
-There are plant cells that lack vacuoles: the mat cells in the anthers.
-They are surrounded by a simple membrane that responds to the name of tonoplast. It must be emphasized that it is permeable and that it plays a fundamental role in the growth of cells.
-Inside the vacuoles have what is known as vacuolar juice, which is made up of water and other elements such as poisons, waste compounds, malic acid, reserve compounds ...
-The contractile vacuoles are those found in animals and that proceed to eliminate the excess of existing water.
-Among the many types of vacuums that exist, we can highlight excretion, phagocytic or residual ones.
-In the vacuoles it is very common in many cases that what is known as ergasstic substances accumulate.
The functions of vacuoles are multiple. They can contribute to the hydration of the cell, to the solidity of its tissue, to the isolation of toxic products and to the decomposition of macromolecules, to name a few possibilities.
Certain vacuoles specialize in very specific functions. Food vacuoles , in this sense, fulfill a function linked to nutrition . The digestive vacuoles , as their name implies, are responsible for digesting nutrients and discarding waste. The vacuoles pulsatile , meanwhile, obtain water from the cytoplasm and then responsible for their expulsion by a process of osmosis.