Components of Water Potential

Components of Water Potential:

Whenever a typical plant cell having cell wall, vacuole and cytoplasm is positioned in a medium having pure water, there are a number of factors that determine the water potential of the cell sap. These are termed as the components of water potential and are named as:

Matric Potential:

The word `matric' is employed for surfaces that can absorb water such as protoplast, cell walls, and soil particles. The Matric potential is a component influenced by the existence of a matric and holds a negative value and symbolized as Ψm.

Solute Potential:

This is a component of water potential that is also termed as Osmotic potential that symbolizes the amount of solute existed and is symbolized as Ψs. Ψs of pure water is zero and therefore Ψs values are negative.

Pressure Potential:

The cell wall applies a pressure on the cellular contents inwards termed as wall pressure causing a hydrostatic pressure to be applied in the vacuole termed as turgor pressure that is equivalent and opposite to the wall pressure. Pressure potential that is symbolized as Ψp is equivalent to either the turgor pressure or wall pressure.

Water potential Ψ = Ψm + Ψs + Ψp.

Water potential is therefore the sum of the three potentials.

Therefore the plant cell behaves as an osmotic system containing its own regulatory control over absorption and movement of water via the concerted effect of phenomena like diffusion, imbibition, and osmosis.

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