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The osmotic effect of salt and sugar on potato tissue

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The osmotic effect of salt and sugar on potato tissue If you put a plant cell in a concentrated sucrose solution, which has water potential lower than the cell itself. Water departs the cell through the process of osmosis. This results in the shrinking of the cell. If the shrunk cell was placed in solution of higher water potential (e.g. water). The cell absorbs water and begins to swell, the vacuole and cytoplasm enlarge to they touch the cell wall. The cell keeps expanding until an equilibrium is reached by the force of cell wall resisting further expansion of cell by the osmotic force letting in water. Within our experiment we will be varying the strength (water potential) of salt and sugar solutions. Then looking at the weight change of the potato tissue. Therefore this will tell us the difference in osmotic effects between salt and sugar solutions, then consequently allow us to examine the water potential of then potato tissue. Method To begin our experiment we formed groups of two and we split the jobs up equally. ...read more.


* We only used the one potato when making the chips because we had to make sure each of the chips had the same water potential; the experiment would of been wrong if we used another potato of different water potential * We had to make sure that we used 3 syringes when making the solutions; this was because we did not want to cause any cross contamination between the salt/sugar and water solutions because our results would be affected, as the osmotic effect of the solution would alter. * We also had to mix the solutions thoroughly so that there was the same ratio of water and salt/sugar within the solution we did this because we wanted the whole solution to have the same water potential. * We had to keep the chips the same size (4x1x1), as we wanted each potato chip to have the same water potential if the size was altered there will be a difference in water potential within the chips. * We used percentage change in mass because it was a much more accurate way of comparing salt to sugar in different concentrations of solutions. ...read more.


During the experiment there was one thing in particular which affected our results. It was the shapes of the potatoes they were hard to cut the same size as the knife was quite blunt, so we ended up with sum large potatoes like the one that went in the 0.3 molar sugar solution. This dint fit in with the line of best fit, therefore the water potential of the sugar solution mite of been slightly different to what we stated earlier. A way, in which we could resolve this problem, is re-doing the experiment using a cork borer. This would of made the chips the same thickness so all that we he would have to do is make sure the lengths are the same. Another limitation of the experiment is that when we made the solutions it was hard to get the exact amount of water and either sugar/salt, this was because the pipette that we used dint show clear volumes on it and they were not very precise, this only effected our results slightly therefore did not really effect our conclusions. ...read more.

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