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Determining The Water Potential Of Potato Tubers Using Gravimetric Anc Chardakov Techniques

1715 words - 7 pages

Determining the Water Potential of Potato Tubers using Gravimetric and Chardakov Techniques


Water potential (W) is the measure of free-energy status of water in plant cell, which is the driving force governing the movement of water into and out of the plat cell and affect various metabolic activities (O’Leary, 1970). Water potential is depends on different solute concentrations, pressure and matrix a particle; measured in Mega Pascal’s (MPa) and written as:
W = s + p + m
In plants dissolved solutes such as ions, sugars, proteins, amino acids and other substances decrease the availability of free energy and induce solute potential (S) , having a negative value. Another factor affecting W is the pressure potential (P) which could be either positive for turgor cells or zero for flaccid cells or negative for cells with active transpiration. Also the binding of water to colloids which decreases water potential is known as Matric Potential (m), it is often small and considered a component of solute potential (Saupe), so for convinces it is ignored and now the equation is:
W = s + p (1)
Water Potential can be determined by measuring the equilibrium vapor pressure, which can be measured by varied methods based on different parameters for this purpose utilizing gravimetric parameters (Length, volume and weight) or Chardakov methods of using specific gravity changes (O’Leary, 1970) or Chardakov pressure bomb chamber or Freezing Point Depression determination using hydrolytic pressure chambers or Cryoscopic or Oblioscopic methods amongst others ( Bland and Tanner, 1985). In this experiment The Gravimetric and Chardakov techniques are used for determining the W for potato tubers by incubation in increments of sucrose solution.
Both methods depend on the principle of movement of water from medium of higher W to medium of lower W. For Gravimetric method, change in weight is used to determine W based on tissue- water relation due to movement of solute by osmosis (through the semi-permeable membrane) or water (Ros Barcelo, et al.,1994). Chardakov method uses the change in the concentration of solution in which the tubers where immersed and by dropping colored water drop of the initial concentration for the respective solution concentration and observe its movement the drop due to difference in specific gravity. The drop of original solution either raises, sinks or floats at the dissection point depending on change in concentration of treated solution being more dense, diluted or no change; respectively (O’Leary, 1970). Form the known concentrations of solutions used, the solute potential can be calculated for both methods once the equilibrium-point is determined from the following:
s= - miRT
m = molality in mol m-3 (1 molal = 1×103 mol m-3 )
i = ionization constant (1.0 for sucrose)
R = gas constant = 8.31 J K-1 mol-1
T = Temperature in degrees K (C + 273 = K)

Solute potential...

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