There are three types of vacuoles: digestive vacuoles, contractile vacuoles, and storage vacuoles. The function of each one depends on the organism in which they are found.

Vacuoles are membrane-lined cytoplasmic structures of varying sizes, formed from the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi complex.

There are three types of vacuoles with specific functions, depending on the type of organism: digestive vacuoles, contractile or pulsatile vacuoles, and storage vacuoles.

Digestives, typical of phagocytic cells, are associated with the action of lysosomal enzymes, forming other vacuoles derived from this process: primary and secondary vacuoles, or also called digestive and residual vacuoles.

Contractile, or also with pulsatile function, are characteristic of some protozoa (paramecium), which are responsible for osmotic balance, eliminating excess water. This type can also be used as a locomotor or excretory aid for some species.

Storage vacuoles, found primarily in plants, occupy a significant cell volume. Depending on the species, they store different substances: carbohydrates (amyloplasts – plastids of nutritional reserve in the roots), proteins (proteoplasts – plastids of protein reserve in seeds), some petal and leaf pigments (anthocyanins) and even toxins (nicotine and tannin), defense substances against herbivorous predators.

Thus, vacuoles are cytoplasmic organelles with highly diversified evolutionary specialization.

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