Osmosis Practical Work

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1. Measuring the average water potential of cells in a plant tissue

Sections of plant tissue placed in a range of concentrations of a solution. Some of the sections of plant tissue will gain water and some will lose water by osmosis.

  • Add water to a series of sucrose solutions of different concentrations, each to separate beakers
  • Use a cork borer to cut sections of potato tuber. Use same cork borer to ensure the thickness of each potato cylinder is equal. The cyliners should be cut to same length
  • The potato cylinders should be surface dried and weighed
  • A potato cylinder should be added to each of the solutions
  • After a set period of time (e.g 24 hours) the potato cylinders are surface dried and reweighed
  • The percentage change in mass should be calculated for the cylinder in each solution
  • The percentage change in mass is plotted against the concentration of the sucrose solution (or solute potential of the sucrose solution)
  • Where the line of best fit crosses the x-axis, the solute potential of the immersing solution is equivalent to the water potential of the potato tissue. At this point there is no net osmosis taking place between the tissue


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