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The sewage treatment plant!


The purpose, of these organelles is the digestion of unwanted cell debris or digestion of the contents of endosomal vesicles.

A lysosome is a membrane vesicle produced by the golgi body and containing hydrolytic enzymes.


The lysosomes contain over 40 digestive enzymes including:

  • acid hydrolases
  • nucleases
  • proteases
  • glycosideases
  • lipases
  • phosphatases
  • sulfatases
  • phopholipases

A potent package which could completely digest the cell, hense their confinement to the lysosome.

In plant cells the lysosomes are in the form of the large vacuoles which occupy about 30% of the cell's volume. These structures contain all the acid hydrolases and can have a degradative function but in addition, can also have a storage function. They are also very important in maintaining the the turgor or water balance of a plant spanning wide variations in the environment but not only in terms of moisture but also buffering against high acidity of certain soils. The influx of H+ protons into the cytosol from the exterior environment can be balanced by the pumping of H+ protons into the vacuole.


Lysosomes are found in the cytoplasm near vacuoles.


More numerous then the vavuoles, sometime found by the dozens.



Return to Organelles Table