Do Plant Cells Have Lysosomes?

Lysosomes are known as the suicidal bags of the cell. They are present in animal cells and help rid the cell of the waste that is generated within the cell. However, does a plant cell has lysosomes ?

Do plant cells have lysosomes?

No, lysosomes are not present in the plant cell of most plants. However, some exceptional plants do contain lysosome in their cells. In most plants, the functions of the lysosome are carried out by the cell wall and vacuole.

Let us explore more about lysosomes.


Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelle that is found in all animal cells and some plant cells. They are generally spherical and contain several enzymes and proteins. They essentially help in the waste disposal of the plant cells.

Another function of the lysosomes is to kill the harmful foreign substances that may enter the plant cell and cause harm. They do so by the use of different enzymes. They are also known as suicidal bags of the cells. It is because another function of the lysosome is to help in programmed cell destruction. It helps kill infected or old plant cells which can no longer function. However, in most plants, lysosomes are absent.

Thus, the main functions of the lysosomes are carried out by the cell wall and the vacuole.

Cell Wall

The cell wall is a complex structure, primarily made out of cellulose. While the primary function of the cell wall is to provide structural support to the plant cell, it also carries out several other ancillary functions.

One of them is to protect it from external substances. The cell wall is tough enough to keep the harmful substances from entering the plant cell. Since the cell wall is absent in animal cells, such harmful objects can enter the cell.

The lysosome has the function of digesting such foreign substances and removing them out of the cell. Since such harmful foreign substances cannot enter the plant cell, the lysosome is not necessary for its survival.


The vacuole is a large membrane-bound organelle that is found in cells. In the plant cells, it is generally larger and may occupy most of the interior space of the plant cell.

The primary function of the vacuole is to maintain the turgor pressure of the plant and help it maintain an upright posture.

Another function of the vacuole is waste maintenance. Unlike animal cells, plants don’t have proper excretory systems. So, the waste needs to be stored safely to prevent any harm to the plant cell. It is done by the vacuole. It helps break down the waste using enzymes and stores the waste safely until the leaves die and fall off.

Thus, we can see that there is no purpose for a lysosome as there is no waste that is to be removed from the cell. So, the lysosomes are not necessary for the survival of the plant, and hence, it is absent in most plants.

Thus, we can see that the lysosomes are absent in most plant cells because their functions are carried out by the cell wall and vacuole of the plant.

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