Permeability and Water Potential

Permeability and Water Potential:


The entry and exit of water in and out of the plant cells is due to a phenomenon termed as permeability of the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is considered to be selectively permeable since it permits the solvent, water and a few chosen molecules and ions to pass via it.

Water Potential:

The plant being multiphase system, here is the movement of water and is expressed in terms of free energy. Water will flow from an area of higher free energy to an area of lower free energy. Free energy is the thermodynamic parameter that determines the direction all along which chemical and physical changes must take place and might be stated as the sum of the energy of a system capable of doing work.

Based on free energy, water potential might be stated as the difference between the free energy of water molecules in pure water and free energy of water in any other system example: water in a solution or water contained in the plant cell. Water potential is symbolized by the Greek letter psi Ψ and is measured in bars. Therefore, water potential is the chemical potential of water. Water potential of pure water is zero bar and water potential in a plant tissue is always less than zero bar and therefore a negative number.

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