• A. Elaioplast
  • B. Amyloplast
  • C. Tonoplast ✓
  • D. Cytoplast


The answer to the question is: C. Tonoplast

The tonoplast is a specialized membrane that surrounds the vacuole, a large organelle found in plant cells. It separates the contents of the vacuole from the cytoplasm and plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and functionality of the vacuole.

Function of the Tonoplast:

  1. Selective Permeability: The tonoplast regulates the movement of molecules into and out of the vacuole. It contains various transport proteins, channels, and pumps that control the uptake and release of substances such as ions, sugars, amino acids, and secondary metabolites. This selective permeability helps maintain proper osmotic balance within the vacuole.
  2. Storage: The vacuole acts as a storage compartment for various substances, including water, ions, pigments, toxins, and waste products. The tonoplast controls the storage capacity of the vacuole by regulating the transport of these molecules across its membrane.
  3. Acidification: Some vacuoles are responsible for maintaining an acidic internal environment. The tonoplast contains proton pumps that actively transport protons (H+) into the vacuole, leading to acidification. This acidification is important for processes such as protein degradation, pigment stability, and defense against pathogens.
  4. Cellular Expansion: Vacuoles play a crucial role in cell growth and expansion in plants. By accumulating water and solutes within their lumen, they exert turgor pressure on the cell wall, contributing to cell enlargement. The tonoplast controls water uptake into the vacuole through specialized water channels called aquaporins.
  5. Detoxification: Some vacuoles serve as detoxification centers by sequestering harmful substances. The tonoplast prevents these toxic compounds from interacting with other cellular components by isolating them within the vacuole.

Comparison to Other Cellular Membranes:

The tonoplast is similar in structure and composition to other cellular membranes, such as the plasma membrane and endomembrane system. However, it possesses unique characteristics that distinguish it from other membranes within the cell.

  1. Lipid Composition: The tonoplast, like other cellular membranes, is primarily composed of phospholipids arranged in a bilayer. However, it has a distinct lipid composition compared to other membranes, with specific lipid species enriched in its structure.
  2. Protein Composition: The tonoplast contains a variety of proteins that are responsible for its specialized functions. These include transporters, ion channels, aquaporins, proton pumps, and enzymes involved in various metabolic pathways specific to the vacuole.
  3. Membrane Dynamics: The tonoplast exhibits dynamic properties similar to other cellular membranes. It undergoes vesicular trafficking processes, fusion events with other membranes, and recycling of membrane components through endocytosis and exocytosis.

In conclusion, the membrane around the vacuole is known as the tonoplast. It plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity, selective permeability, storage capacity, acidification, cellular expansion, and detoxification functions of the vacuole within plant cells.

Hearing god’s voice in unlikely places : aaron watson & anthony lucia.