In the cells of plants and animals, the organelles are responsible for converting food into energy. These organelles store and process food, water, and waste, and can be grouped into four major types. In this article, you’ll learn about the Vacuoles, Lysosomes, Mitochondria, and Rough endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, you’ll learn how the body stores and processes waste.


Animal cells have numerous vacuoles, whereas plant cells do not. Vacuoles are used to temporarily store materials or waste products, and they help in exocytosis and endocytosis. Vacuoles are smaller than organelles in plant cells, but some animal cells have prominent vacuoles. Animal cells, on the other hand, usually have multiple vacuoles.

The function of vacuoles in plant and animal cells is unknown, but they are crucial in the production of plant hormones, which help in the germination of seeds. Animal cells also use vacuoles for storage and turgor pressure. Plant cells use vacuoles to protect themselves from predators, and animals use them to store food and waste. Vacuoles are organelles that store food water and waste, and play an important role in controlling the water content in cells.

Animal cells have expandable vacuoles, which allow them to grow without losing too many cells. They also serve as a kind of symbiotic system, with other cells sharing the same environment. For example, coral polyps often feed on algae in their vacuoles to obtain oxygen and nutrients. And in plants, many of these organisms use vacuoles as storage areas.


Before, the lysosome was thought of as a trash can for the cell, storing accumulated food and waste. But today, it is regarded as a cellular master switch. It is responsible for breaking down large molecules and storing them inside the cell, which the cell can use as fuel or building blocks. A recent review of research on lysosomes by cell biologist Roberto Zoncu at the University of California, Berkeley, has helped to change that perception.

Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles with an acidic lumen and a single lipid membrane. Membrane proteins transport substances inside and out of the lysosome and can also fuse with other organelles. Moreover, they can secrete their contents. Lysosomes are an important part of the cell’s immune system and play a role in the degradation of pathogens.


Mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of the cell. They produce the main energy molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and represent the short-term stored energy in cells. These cells produce ATP through a process called cellular respiration. Carbon dioxide is the waste product of these reactions. The waste product of cellular respiration is used for a variety of biological processes.

The organelle has a double membrane, an outer membrane defines the shape, and an inner membrane is folded into finger-like cristae. The mitochondria divide using a circular strand of DNA. They are found in many cells, but are concentrated in organelles with high energy requirements. Sperm, for example, contains many mitochondria in the tail. Liver cells contain around a thousand or more mitochondria per cell, and heart muscle cells have several hundred thousand.

In addition to providing energy for the cell, mitochondria also store food, water, and waste. Food is broken down into its smallest components, including carbohydrates and proteins, and passed through the cytosol into mitochondria. The smallest molecules of fuel are then transported into the bloodstream and converted to glucose and oxygen. Excess fuel is stored as fat. When the cellular waste is too much, it will be oxidized to CO2.

Rough endoplasmic reticulum

The Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum is located inside the cell. It plays a vital role in synthesising proteins. It resembles a construction company and has ribosomes. Because it is a storage and transport site for proteins, it is often referred to as the ‘Rough ER’. The ER also helps regulate protein metabolism and stores waste products.

The ER is a cisternal space in the nucleus of the cell. It contains ribosomes, which synthesize proteins and transfer them to the lumen. The RER also undergoes protein modification and manufactures phospholipids for cell membranes. Rough ER functions are critical for cell function. The ER is the main storage organ for the synthesis of proteins and other substances within the cell.

In addition to storage, the Rough ER also contains many different vesicles. These vesicles are used to transport molecules within the cell and to the Golgi apparatus. The ER also houses lysosomes, which contain powerful enzymes that break down and recycle cell waste materials and food materials. It also aids in transporting waste and proteins within the cell.