Dictionary » P » Plasmolysis



noun, plural: plasmolyses


The shrinking of protoplasm away from the cell wall of a plant or bacterium due to water loss from osmosis, thereby resulting in gaps between the cell wall and cell membrane.


When a plant cell is placed in a highly concentrated solution, water diffuses out of the cell, and turgor pressure is lost causing the cell to become flaccid. Further loss of water will result in plasmolysis, and finally to cytorrhysis, the complete collapse of cell wall.

Plasmolysis only occurs in extreme conditions and rarely happens in nature. It is induced in the laboratory by immersing cells in strong saline or sugar solutions to cause exosmosis, often using Elodea plants or onion epidermal cells.

Word origin: plasma » Greek plásma + -o- + -lysis » New Latin, from Greek lusis, a loosening.

Related forms: plasmolytic (adjective), plasmolytically (adverb).

Compare: cytolysis, crenation.
See also: turgidity, clasmatosis.

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Re: Incipient Plasmolysis

it's rather hard to detect when a particular cell is at incipient plasmolysis. what we do is that we count the cells in a particular portion of plant tissue. we expose this to a hypertonic solution. when 50% of the cells of the tissue is plasmolyzed, it is ...

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by angiezenun
Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:25 pm
Forum: Physiology
Topic: Incipient Plasmolysis
Replies: 2
Views: 14841

Compatible solutes

... in a hypotonic environment 2) only when living in a hypertonic environment 3) to ensure that cytoplassimc environment is hypertonic 4) to avoid plasmolysis i chose 2) because i believed that in a hypertonic environment microbes would try to maintain its internal osmolarity as it is losing water ...

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by klapausius
Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:42 am
Forum: Microbiology
Topic: Compatible solutes
Replies: 1
Views: 2101

Osmosis and Diffusion

onion cells and red blood cells are very good ideas. i have done these xexperiments about a year or a 2 back work well. you can also plasmolysis. try finding out at what conc a cell becomes incepient plasmolysed.

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by jwalin
Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:05 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Osmosis and Diffusion
Replies: 8
Views: 14758


Hi, so I did a lab in Biology involving elodea plants placed in a sucrose solution, and we were to observe plasmolysis, etc. Our teacher then posed this question that I'm really stumped on, however....What is present in the space between the cell wall and the plasma membrane ...

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by itsamemario
Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:53 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: Membranes/Transport
Replies: 2
Views: 2829

diffusion and osmosis. help me please?

... around and travel much faster than the molecules in a liquid. 11. the shrinkage of cytoplasm within a cell from diffusion is known as? (my answer) plasmolysis how can this process be an advantage to a cell? (no answer) how would taking in too much water be a disadvantage to a cell? (no answer either) ...

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by lanzshade
Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:50 am
Forum: Cell Biology
Topic: diffusion and osmosis. help me please?
Replies: 1
Views: 16427
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