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A large, fluid-filled, membrane-bounded compartment in the cytoplasm of a plant cell or a smaller vesicle (a compartment that can involve cellular secretion, storage, or nutrient uptake) in the cytoplasm of any eukaryotic cell. The cells of some bacteria contain gas vacuoles. In plants, vacuoles allow individual cells to increase in size without amassing bulk that would hinder cell metabolism. See also contractile vacuole.

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