Effects of water on generic plant and animal cells

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  • Effects of Water Potential on Generic Cells
    • Immersed in concentrated salt/sugar solution
      • Hypertonic solution
      • Water moves out of cells by osmosis, down its potential gradient
      • Animal cells shrink and shrivel up
      • Plant cell vacuoles shrink, pulling the plasma membrane away from the cellulose wall. Plasmolysis has occurred.
    • Immersed in distilled water
      • Hypotonic sloution
      • Animal cells swell before bursting as their membranes cannot withstand the pressure. Cytolysis has occured.
      • Plant cells become turgid but their cellulose cell walls prevent them from bursting
      • Water moves into cells by osmosis, down its potential gradient
    • Immersed in solution with same water potential
      • Isotonic solution
      • Cells therefore remain the same shape and volume


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