Do Plant Cells Have Lysosomes? Everything You Need to Know


Do Plant Cells Have Lysosomes

Plants intake a lot of different types of food. That includes proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and all other types of biological polymers. To break all of these down, plants require an array of enzymes. And lysosome, a membrane-enclosed organelle, contains precisely all of those enzymes.

So, do plant cells have lysosomes? Or do they rely on other organelles to get the enzymes required for breaking down the polymers? Well, the answer is not a simple yes or no. You need to understand much about the topic to get to the bottom. And through this discussion, you can acquire them all.

What Are Lysosomes?

What Are Lysosomes

As discussed earlier, lysosomes are basically membrane-enclosed organelles. They contain a wide range of enzymes that cells require to break down polymers. Basically, the lysosome acts as a digestive system of the cells. It plays a role in degrading the material taken from the outside.

But that is not all! Lysosomes also play the role of making the cells digest the obsolete components. In the simple form, lysosomes can be visualized like a dense spherical vacuoles. However, they can also display numerous variables in shape and size.

Now, the difference in size and shape will be because of the materials lysosomes are taking up for digestion. Considering that, you can define lysosomes are morphologically diverse organelles with a standard function. And that common function is to degrade the intracellular material.

On that note, although lysosomes take part in degrading the materials taken from life-expired components in plant cells, they are not garbage disposal units, nor are suicide bags. They play no role in terms of identifying which of the cells are eliminated. That is the core function of phagocytosis or programmed cell death.

Do Plant Cells Come With Lysosomes?

Do Plant Cells Have Lysosomes

The membrane-bounded organelles, lysosomes, are in animal cells. Yes, they are present in plant cells. However, the presence is not that common. The reason behind the absence of lysosomes in some plant cells is pretty unique. Some cells have a rigid cell wall. That prevents the foreign substance from entering the cell.

So, as the foreign substances have no way of entering the cell, there is no need for a lysosome. For that reason, you will not find lysosomes in some plant cells. 

How Do Lysosomes Help Plant Cells Function?

lysosomes function in plant cell

The critical function of the lysosome is to aid digestion and remove the waste from the cell. During endocytosis, plant cells can pull foreign particles or cellular debris into the cell. And lysosomes shine in that case. It will degrade all the material the plant cells take from the outside.

Now, what is the endocytosis process? It is the process through which cells take substances from outside the cell. The process involves engulfing the materials from the outside into a vesicle. 

When it comes to the substances that get in during the endocytosis process, it can include things such as nutrients or pathogens. The nutrients, in this case, will support the cell, while immune cells will engulf the pathogens and destroy them.

Nonetheless, the endocytosis process occurs when a part of the cell membrane folds in on itself. That makes the cell membrane encircle the extracellular fluids and other microorganisms or molecules. Then, the resulting vesicle will break off and be transported within the cell.

Implications of Plant Cells Lacking Lysosomes

The plant cells that do not have lysosomes will rely on the thick cell wall. That wall will prevent waste materials or obsolete cell components from getting in. In other words, as the materials that lysosomes are responsible for handling do not enter the cell, some plant cells do not require lysosomes. 

However, lysosomes also play a role in the digestive process. So, how do the plant cells without lysosomes manage that?

The lytic vacuoles perform digestive functions in plants and yeast cells. The lytic vacuoles will detoxify the plant and ensure that the cell maintains the overall hemostasis. Without the process of lytic vacuoles, the plant cells will not grow to full maturity.

What Is The Difference Between lysosomes in Plant Cells and Animal Cells?

Difference Between lysosomes in Plant Cells and Animal Cells

The main difference that lies between the lysosomes of plant and animal cells is their function. For an animal cell, the lysosome will act like a garbage disposal. Lysosomes will take on the foreign materials that come into the cell and take care of them.

However, vacuoles take care of the garbage disposing function for plant cells. Lysosomes will not determine the cells that are eliminated. As discussed earlier, that function is for phagocytosis or programmed cell death.

On the other hand, lysosomes in plant cells will have enzymes. These enzymes will help in breaking down the proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and worn-out organelles. The enzymes that are present in lysosomes will have a comparatively lower pH level than the ones that are in the cytoplasm.

Due to having a low pH level, the enzymes have a higher acidity level when compared to the pH of the cytoplasm. Now, for having a relatively high pH level, a lot of the reactions will not occur in the cytoplasm.

Types of Lysosomes

Types of Lysosomes

Recent studies suggest that are two types of lysosomes. The first one is the secretory lysosomes. These will usually be in the immune system’s cells. For example, the T Lymphocytes are derived from the hemopoietic cell line. However, that does not mean that secretory lysosomes are exclusive to different immune system cells. 

The second type of lysosome is the conventional one. But what makes the conventional ones different from the secretory lysosomes? Well, the secretory lysosomes will have a cell’s particular secretory product. Again, take T Lymphocytes as an example. It will contain granzymes and perforin products.

Those two secretory produces can attack the tumor and virus-infected cells. On that note, the ‘combi cells’ secretory lysosome contains membrane proteins and hydrolases. It will also have the right pH to regulate the facility of conventional lysosomes.

How Are Lysosomes Formed?

Lysosomes are formed through the fusion of transport vesicles. The vesicles are budded from the trans-Golgi network along with endosomes. And the endosomes will contain all of the molecules taken up by the endocytosis. Now, in this case, the molecules that will only come into play are the ones at the plasma membrane.

That said, if you take a close look at the formation of lysosomes, it represents the intersection of the secretory pathway and endocytic pathway. The secretory pathway is where lysosomal proteins are processed. On the other hand, the endocytic pathway is where extracellular molecules are brought up to the cell surface.

Conclusion

Lysosomes are present in plant cells. However, they are not that common. 

The plant cells that do not have lysosomes will rely on their thick cell wall. It performs the lysosome’s function in preventing foreign substances from getting in.

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Mohammed Rujel

Over the Years, I have gained a lot of experience in different aspects of gardening. I actively learned about plants and how to care for them, and also have a lot of experience in dealing with pests and diseases. My expertise is on teaching how to grow healthy plants and make them look their best.

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