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I am producing a poster on the large vacuole in a plant cell. I need to include the structure and function, including the osmosis part.
Question Date: 2003-10-17
Answer 1:

Here are some online resources you can use with information that you should find helpful for your project.

This web site has good information regarding the function of cellular organelles in general; if you scroll down the page a ways you will see a link for the vacuole specifically:
Here is a good PowerPoint presentation giving an overview of the cell (click with your mouse to advance slides, right-click to go backward:

For additional resources, you should use Google to search for "vacuole structure" and "vacuole function". When you do this you will find a lot of basic web sites and also very advanced ones. Based on your e-mail, I suspect that the basic web sites will be sufficient for you to complete your project. You might find additional, more advanced concepts that you want to pursue further, however-- for example, you might do Google searches for things like "contractile vacuole function", "vacuole motility", etc. This is your project, so I'll leave it up to you to decide what level you'd like to go into!

One of the most difficult things for students is a good understanding of how osmosis works. The following websites have good explanations for this process, including giving a better understanding of the difference between osmosis and diffusion, and of being able to tell which way water will tend to move across a membrane:

Hope this helps!

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