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A vacuole is a membrane-bound organelle that can store any variety of materials for a cell including food and nutrients that the cell will use, or even wastes that the cell will get rid of. 

Both plant and animal cells have vacuoles. In plant cells the vacuole is very large...

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A vacuole is a membrane-bound organelle that can store any variety of materials for a cell including food and nutrients that the cell will use, or even wastes that the cell will get rid of. 

Both plant and animal cells have vacuoles. In plant cells the vacuole is very large and helps to provide the turgor pressure necessary to keep plant cells rigid and the plant upright. In animal cells there are multiple small vacuoles. 

Vacuoles can be formed by smaller membrane-bound organelles, vesicles, fusing together. Vesicles are used for transporting molecules to and from the cell membrane to either take in molecules or release molecules through endocytosis and exocytosis. 

Vacuoles are perfect for separating anything the cell doesn't want exposed to the rest of the cell. In the case of wastes, some substances can be harmful for the cell, and the vacuole can store these wastes until they are either released or broken down by lysosomes. Vacuoles are extremely versatile storage organelles that can provide a variety of functions for the cell.

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