Water is a special case

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    • Water potential is a measure of the tendency of water molecules to diffuse from one place to another
      • Osmosis is the net movement of water from a region of high water potential to a region of low water potential
        • When enough water is lost from animal cells, the membranes shrinks but in plant cells the cell surface membrane pulls away from the cell wall (plasmolysis)
        • When too much water enters an animal cell it will burst but a plant cell becomes turgid as the vacuole pushes the membrane against the wall
    • Water potenial is lowered by the presence of solutes, it is measured in kPa. 0 is the highest water potential and the water potential of pure water.

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