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Investigation of Water Potential of Potato Tuber Cells

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Length: 392 words (1.1 double-spaced pages)
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Investigation of Water Potential of Potato Tuber Cells

Introduction

This experiment is to find out the water potential of potato cells.

Water potential is the ability of water to move and is represented by
the Greek letter ψ (pronounced “sy”). It tells us which way water will
move and how fast. Water potential is always measured as a negative
number; this is because the water potential of pure water at
atmospheric pressure is zero therefore the stronger a solution is the
more negative the number. This is because a solution has solutes
present and solute molecules slow the movement of the water molecules,
therefore always making the water potential of a solution less than
zero.

The stronger the concentration the slower the movement of water
molecules present due to more bonds between the solutes and the water
molecules, therefore the more negative the water potential. The unit
for water potential is kPa because itÂ’s the measurement of pressure
acting on the water molecules.

There are two factors that influence water potential;

* The concentration of solutes inside the cell

* The pressure exerted on the cell contents by the stretched call
surface membrane or cell wall.

Results Table
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Concentration Mass before Mass after Change in 0 (distilled
(m) (g) (g) Mass(g) water)

1.32 1.47 0.15 0.2 1.35
1.36 0.01 0.4 1.24 1.16
-0.08 0.6 1.38 1.05 -0.33
0.8 1.57 1.20 -0.37 1
1.32 0.83 -0.49
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Method

First we collected all of our equipment and labelled each test tube
with the different concentrations of sucrose to go into it and placed
them in a test tube, we filled each test tube half way with the
following solutions; 0(distilled water), 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1m of
sucrose solutions. We then used a cork borer (number 5) to take out
pieces of potato cylinders. We then placed the cylinders onto a paper
towel and cut them into 2mm discs with a scalpel then dried them off.
To weigh them we set the scales to zero with the paper towel on then
placed 10 potato discs on and took the reading. We repeated that for
each set of discs, 6 in all. Then we placed each set of discs in each
test tube of solution and put the stoppers on top. They were left for
30 minutes n then the weights of the discs were taken again.

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