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Digestive Vacuoles

Digestive Vacuoles

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Pockets originated by the fusion of lysosomes with phagosomes or pinosomes are called digestive vacuoles; Inside, the substances originally present in phagosomes or pinosomes are digested by lysosomal enzymes.

As intracellular digestion occurs, the particles captured by the cells are broken down into small molecules that cross the membrane of the digestive vacuole into the cytosol. These molecules will be used to make new substances and to supply energy to the cell.

Eventual remains of the digestive process, made up of undigested material, remain inside the vacuole, which is now called residual vacuole.

Many cells eliminate residual vacuole content to the outside. In this process, called chasmocytosis, the residual vacuole touches the plasma membrane and fuse with it, releasing its contents into the external environment.