BIOL - A Peak into the World of Osmosis
Biology, IB | IGCSE | GCE | AP Biology
A process by which molecules of a solvent pass through a semi-permeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one.
Osmosis in Animal cell:
HYPOTONIC SOLUTION: will swell and eventually burst as soon as there’s contact with water through osmosis. This is because the water potential of the hypotonic solution is HIGHER than that of the cytoplasm.
ISOTONIC SOLUTION: no net gain or loss of water in the cell as water will enter leaving the cell at the same rate. Hence, the volume of the cell will remain the same.
HYPERTONIC SOLUTION: the cell will shrink and become wrinkled as water leaves the cell by osmosis. This happens as the water potential of the solution is LOWER than that of the cytoplasm.
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Osmosis in Plant cell:
HYPOTONIC SOLUTION: will swell as water enters the cell by osmosis. However, the swelling is resisted by the rigid cell wall. The cell is said to be turgid because the water eventually stops entering the cell.
ISOTONIC SOLUTION: no net gain or loss of water keeping the volume of the cell unchanged.
HYPERTONIC SOLUTION: water leaves the cell by osmosis. The vacuole shrinks and the cell membrane pulls away from the cell wall. This condition also refers as “plasmolysis” and the cell is said to be flaccid.
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