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Investigating The Effects Of Sucrose Concentration On Osmosis In Potato Tissue

2405 words - 10 pages

Investigating the Effects of Sucrose Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Tissue


We have been asked to research the effects of sucrose concentration on
osmosis in potato tissue. Osmosis is the spontaneous movement of a
solvent (-in this case water) from a place where its chemical
potential is higher to another place where it is lower, through a
semi-permeable membrane (-such as a cell membrane). A cell membrane
lets smaller molecules such as water through but does not allow bigger
molecules to pass through. The smaller molecules will continue to
diffuse across the membrane until the area in which the molecules are
found reaches a state of equilibrium, meaning that the molecules are
in a steady state, with molecules moving in and out of the membrane,
however with no net loss or gain.

Plant cells always have a rigid cell wall and cell membrane
surrounding them. When they take up water by osmosis the cells start
to swell up, but the cell wall prevents them from bursting, (-which is
what animal cells, who have no cell walls would do), the plant cell is
then said to be turgid. When turgid, the pressure inside the cell
rises and eventually the internal pressure of the cell is so high that
no more water can enter the cell. This hydrostatic pressure works
against osmosis, even when the plant cell's water potential is greater
than that of the outsides. Turgidity is very important to plants
because this is what makes the plant "stand up" and acts as a form of

The opposite of turgidity is plasmolysis, this is the retraction of
the cytoplasm from the wall of a vacuolated plant cell as a result of
osmotic withdrawal of water from the vacuole. They are said to become
flaccid and limp.

For this particular investigation we are allowed, a bench solution of
1 molar sucrose (-this will be the sugar solution) solution and potato


To find the effect of sucrose solution on osmosis, I will have to keep
all the other factors the same, these are:


-Water potential of potato initially

-Size of potato

-Mass of potato

-Volume of solution potato is in

-Type of potato

-Time left in solution

-Surface area of potato

-Using same balance to measure potato

-Light intensity

-Potato cut at the same time, and left the same time

If I am going to conduct a fair test then I will have to keep these
factors the same, this is so that I can achieve reliable results to
test out my hypothesis. The temperature will be at a constant room
temperature, this is so that it won't affect the rate of reaction, as
a higher the temperature the object is, the molecules inside it are
vibrating fast, so is the fact that at a hotter temperature osmosis
will happen faster, than at freezing temperatures, so...

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