Plant cells and water

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Water Potential

Water potential is a measure of the tendancy of water molecules to diffuse from one place to another. Water always moves from an area of high water potential to an area of low water potential. The water potential of pure water is 0. Solutes in a cell will redue the water potential, this is because there are fewer 'free' water molecules available than in pure water. Because of this the water potential of a plant cell is always negative.

When in pure water a plant cell will take up water by osmosis; the water potential in the cell is lower that that of the pure water, the water will therefore diffuse into the cell. The cellulose cell wall stops the cell from bursting (because…


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