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The effect of increasing sugar concentrated solutions on Potato cells.

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Introduction

To investigate the effect of increasing sugar concentrated solutions on Potato cells. Osmosis is the movement of water molecules across a partially permeable membrane from a region of high water concentration to a region of low water concentration. A cell is surrounded by a cell membrane. This membrane separates the contents of the cell from the outside, and this has tiny holes in it, which enables small molecules to pass through it but not large ones. This is what makes the cell membrane partially permeable. All plant cells have strong cell walls surrounding them. When water is taken up to the cells by osmosis, they swell up, however the cell wall prevents it from bursting. We say that the plant cells become 'turgid'. Turgid is basically when the cells go hard and swollen. The pressure inside the cell rises and then the internal pressure inside the cell becomes so high that no more water can enter it. It is this liquid or hydrostatic pressure, which works against osmosis. This causes the potato cell to increase in volume. Turgidity is an important part in plants because it is this, which makes the green part s of the leaf stand up in order for it to reach sunlight. ...read more.

Middle

C A B Concentration of sugar solution At point A my graph would suggest that no osmosis has occurred. This suggests that the concentration of water inside the cell is equal to the solution outside. At point B (high water concentration), it indicates that the cell is decreasing further in size. This is due to the fact that the cell is fully plasmolysed and that no more water is able to leave the cell. At point c (low water concentrations) there is an indication that the cell has in fact increased further in size. This is due to the fact that the potato cell is fully plasmolysed and no more water is unable to leave the cell. To ensure that I get accurate results I will be carrying out the following: > Keep volume of the concentration the same at all times > Keep the same potato > Put potato in the solution for the same length of time > Keep temperature constant > Dry the potatoes thoroughly > Make sure that the same person measures it > Keep the length of the potato roughly the same I carried out my method as the following. Firstly I got all the equipment needed for the experiment. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore I should have done concentrated on doing one at a time, instead of trying to them as quickly as possible. I am aware that this would be more time consuming, however I could have overcome this by getting more people to do the experiment in order to divide the tasks. Also when drying each of the potatoes to remove the surface liquid I should have tried to ensure that all were dried equally to avoid inaccuracy. I could have found a more uniform way of drying the potatoes to improve the accuracy of my results. I did not recognise any anomalous results in my graph and I think that this was due to the fact that I carried out my experiment as planned and tried to ensure a fair test. My data around the isotonic point could have been improved by using a burette instead of a measuring cylinder it may have given and provided me with more accurate results. To further the experiment I would investigate other plants and compare them with the experiment I carried out. Repeating the experiment more than twice would have been inappropriate as my results were reliable. Overall, my prediction backed up my prediction and given the apparatus that I got to carry out the test I think that my experiment was successful and I am pleased with the overall outcome of my results. ...read more.

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