Osmosis can be defined as the movement of water across a semi-permeable membrane from a region of high water concentration to a region of low water concentration.
The semi-permeable membrane allows small particles through it but does not allow large particles such as sodium chloride. Osmosis will continue until a state of equilibrium is reached i.e. there is no area with a higher or lower concentration than another area.
To land plants, water and osmosis are vital as they play leading roles in the structural support of a plant. Lack of water will lead to a plant wilting (becoming flaccid) and possibly dieing.
Osmotic pressure. If a plant was placed in a waterlogged area, where the external solute to the cell (being less concentrated (or hypertonic) to the cell vacuole contents) the cell will not continue to take in water via osmosis for ever. The cell wall made of cellulose acts as a firm barrier to any more expansion. Once the cell is full of water, it is said to be turgid. This means that the inward force is equal to that of the outward force. The inward pressure is called turgor pressure and the outward force is called osmotic pressure.
The opposite of being turgid is being flaccid. This occurs if the plant is placed in solution that is hypertonic to its contents. So basically, when the solution outside the cell is more concentrated.
The cell loses the water content via the process of osmosis. The cytoplasm will eventually cease to exert any force on the cell whatsoever and so the cell becomes flaccid.
In the experiment, the pieces will either become flaccid, stay the same or become turgid depending on the concentration of the solute inside and outside the cells.
The aim of the investigation is to investigate the movement of water in and out of a sample of potato by osmosis.
* Then experiment