8 Interesting Difference between Plant and Animal Vacuole with Pictures

What is the difference between plant and animal vacuole?

Vacuoles are membrane-bound organelles. Plant cells and animal cells are eukaryotic cells. This implies that they both contain cell vacuoles where the vacuole structure differs.

The core difference between plant and animal vacuole in the number of vacuoles functioning in the cell. The animal cell has two or more vacuoles while the plant cell has one large cell vacuole.

Difference between Plant and Animal Vacuole

What Is a Plant Vacuole?

Plant vacuole tends to be one and large. It occurs in mature plant cells and located at the center of the cell. It contains a suspension of cytoplasm thread throughout the vacuole.

Tonoplast is a membrane that surrounds the vacuole and it is responsible for separating other content from the cytoplasm. It also helps to maintain the turgor pressure to facilitating plant cell shape.

What is an Animal Vacuole?

Animal vacuole tends to be smaller in number and occur in large numbers. Also, they are normally scattered in the animal cell.

Animal vacuoles act as a storage facility during exocytosis. The core function of the vacuole is to control the entry of foreign particles that causes bacterial infection.

Comparison Chart: Plant Vacuole Vs Animal Vacuole

Basic Terms Plant Vacuole Animal Vacuole
Meaning It is a large and single cavity in the cytoplasm which cell sap It is a small and numerous cavity in the cell sap that contains fluid and food
Size and Number Single and large Several small vacuoles
Occurrence Quite high Quite low
Permanent/Temporary Structures Permanent vacuole structure Temporary vacuole structure
Distribution within the Cell Located at the center of the cell Distributed all over the cell
Storing Elements Store water Store nutrients, ions, waste products, and water.
Importance Responsible for maintaining turgor pressure Responsible for exocytosis and endocytosis.

Core Difference between Plant and Animal Vacuole

  1. The animal vacuole is suitable for exocytosis and endocytosis whereas plant cell is responsible for maintaining turgor pressure.
  2. The plant vacuole stores water whereas animal vacuole store nutrients, ions, waste products, and water
  3. The plant vacuole is located at the center of the cell while animal vacuole is distributed all over the cell
  4. Animal vacuole has temporal structures while plant vacuole has a permanent vacuole
  5. Plant vacuole occurrence is high while animal vacuole occurrence is low
  6. The plant vacuole is single and large while animal vacuole is small and numerous in size.
  7. The plant vacuole is the cavity present in the cytoplasm which contains cell sap while animal vacuole is the cavity in the cytoplasm that contains food and fluids.

Read More: Difference between Cell Membrane and Cell Wall

Similarities between Plant Vacuole and Animal Vacuole

  1. Both have enclosed single membrane
  2. Both store important substance in the cell

Comparison Video


Plant vacuoles are larger in size and single in the cell. Animal vacuoles are smaller in size and scattered within the cell. Plant vacuoles have permanent structures while animal vacuoles have temporal structures.

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