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Water, Osmosis, Cellular Function, and Turgor Pressure

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Review physical and chemical properties of water. How might changes in temperature affect cellular function? How might water pollution affect cellular function? How might it affect water movement in cells and plants?


What are roles of osmotic potential or turgor pressure in regulating water potential of plant cells? Explain your answer. Do plant cells have a negative turgor pressure? Why or why not?

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Solution Summary

The solution assists with reviewing the physical and chemical properties of water.

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Key Terms
1) Hypertonic - Having a higher osmotic pressure than another fluid.
2) Hypotonic - A solution with a lower osmotic pressure than another fluid.
3) Isotonic - Having equal osmotic pressure.
4) Osmotic potential ("Pi") - Measure of the tendency of water to move into a region due to the presence of solutes.
5) Pressure potential (P) - Measure of the physical pressure exerted by cell walls upon a cell.
6) Water potential ("Psi") - Measure of the overall tendency of water to move into a region.

Plant cells are surrounded by rigid cellulose walls and take in water by osmosis when placed in pure water. However, plant cells do not burst because their cellulose cell walls limit how much water can move in. The cell walls exert pressure, called turgor pressure, as the cells take up water. These physical forces can be described by ...

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