Osmosis in Potato Tissue

Topics: Osmosis, Concentration, Cell wall, Cell, Chemistry / Pages: 12 (2929 words) / Published: Apr 21st, 2013


My objective is to plan and conduct an experiment from which I should be able to draw a firm conclusion that will either prove or disprove any predictions I make. This essay aims to assess and investigate the effect of various solution concentrations on the activity of osmosis in plant tissue.

Background scientific theory:

Plants exchange gases (CO2 and O2) in maintaining vital respiratory processes and in carrying out photosynthesis; they absorb certain minerals and sugars so to use as a source of energy and eradicate wastes in order to maintain specific requirements for survival. Large amounts of water are absorbed by root hairs and are then distributed across the cells of plants by the process of osmosis; water being essential to life, assists cells in executing crucial chemical processes. Molecules travel by two means; active transport or passive transport.

Active transport is the movement of a substance from a low to high concentration against the norm concentration gradient. Hence, the process requires expenditure of energy, and the support of a carrier protein. Passive transport, however, does not require energy but occurs spontaneously instead. It is a form of transport by which molecules move along a concentration gradient, from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. Passive transport includes osmosis and facilitates diffusion.
Osmosis is a special case of diffusion; it describes the passage of a solvent from a weaker solution, where there is higher water potential, to that of a more concentrated solution that has a lower water potential through a partially permeable membrane in order to achieve the state of equilibrium. A partially permeable membrane acts as a barrier to some substances but allows others to penetrate through freely.

Within any plant cell the cytoplasm and cell sap within the vacuoles

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