Water potential and plant pathways

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  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 13-02-16 15:40
Define water potential
Water potential is the tendency of water molecules to diffuse from an area of higher potential to lower water potential.
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What is the water potential of pure water?
0 kPa
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What is in the cytoplasm that will reduce water potential
Solutes - salts and sugars
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Why do solutes reduce the water potential?
Because there are fewer free water molecules available.
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Describe what happens when a cell is placed in pure water
Water will move into the cell by osmosis because the water potential is lower inside the cell than outside in the water. The cell will become turgid but will not burst because of the strong cellulose cell wall.
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What happens when a cell is placed in a concentrated solution?
Water will leave the cell by osmosis because the water potential inside the cell is higher than outside the cell. The cell will become plasmolysed as when water leaves, the cytoplasm and vacuole shrink and cell membrane separates from the cell wall.
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What routes can water take through a plant?
The apoplast pathway, symplast pathway and the vacuolar pathway.
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Describe the apoplast pathway.
Water moves through the spaces in the cellulose cell walls. The water does not pass through any plasma membranes. Dissolves minerals ions and salts can be carried with the water.
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Explain the symplast pathway
Water enters cytoplasm through plasma membrane.It will pass through the plasmodesmata from one cell to the next. These are gaps in cell walls containing a thin strand of cytoplasm. Cytoplasm of adjacent cells are linked.Water moves through cytoplasm.
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Describe the vacuolar pathway
Water is not confined to the cytoplasm. It is similar to the symplast pathway. It is able to enter and pass through the vacuoles as well.
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Card 2

Front

What is the water potential of pure water?

Back

0 kPa

Card 3

Front

What is in the cytoplasm that will reduce water potential

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why do solutes reduce the water potential?

Back

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Card 5

Front

Describe what happens when a cell is placed in pure water

Back

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