Whenever a plant cell is positioned in hypertonic solution, the procedure of exosmosis begins and water from the cell sap diffuses out into the solution of external medium. It causes a reduction in the tension of the cell wall and brings around the contraction of protoplasm due to the continuous loss of water. Protoplasm becomes rounded in shape due to contraction and such a cell is stated to be plasmolysed and the phenomenon is termed to as plasmolysis. The initial phase of plasmolysis where the protoplasm just begins leaving the cell wall is termed as incipient plasmolysis.

Whenever a completely plasmolysed cell is again positioned in water or a hypotonic solution, the endosmosis occurs and the protoplasm recovers its original state and shape that is the cell becomes completely turgid. This phenomenon is the reverse of plasmolysis and is termed as deplasmolysis.


Figure: Various phases of plasmolysis in a cell

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