Plasmolysis and Osmosis

Topics: Osmosis, Concentration, Cell wall Pages: 2 (501 words) Published: September 4, 2013
Razelle Icaro- Resub
Plants absorb water from the soil via osmosis. Osmosis is the diffusion of water particles from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration across a semi-permeable membrane until the concentration is equilibrium. There are usually more solvents in the water inside the plant which means there is a high concentration. Because of this, the water flows into the root hair cells from the soil. Watering plants with a saline solution (salty water) changes the osmotic potential of the soil. This results to the water surrounding the root more saline than the cell sap within the plant. This causes reverse-osmosis where the nutrients are actually drawn out of the plant and into the soil. Because the plant will not be able to absorb enough water to sustain metabolic processes, this will eventually result to the plants wilting. Nutrient deficiencies become visible in the plant and eventually, the plant may die. The concept of thermodynamic free energy covers the theory behind osmosis. This tells us that the less concentrated solutions contains more free energy, so its solvent molecules tend to diffuse to a region of less free energy to equalise the concentration of free energy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmosis) Plasmolysis plays an important role in Osmosis. It is the process in plant cells in which the cytoplasm is extracted away from the cell wall due to the loss of water via osmosis. This process occurs in a hypertonic solution. When a plant cell is in a hypertonic solution, the water in the cells move to a region of higher solute concentration. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasmolysis) This results to the cell shrinking and in doing so; it becomes flaccid and has been plasmolyzed. Different crops have different levels of tolerance to salinity. Storm surges would have great implications on crop sites located by the sea shore. Two possible side effects of storm surges on crops could be the high water pressures that would most...
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