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Onion Osmosis

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Braden Leonard

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Onion Osmosis

By: Aly, Braden, Steph and Scarlett Onion Osmosis We had 0.9% salt solution, 5% salt solution and fresh water. We placed each solution on a slide with a 1/4 of an inch piece of onion skin, and proceeded to move the liquid through the onion cells. Then we were to observe what was happening during the addition of more salt solution and eventually the removal of salt solution, with the addition of fresh water. Introduction When the salt solution was added to the red onion skin cell, the pigmented cells appeared to shrink in size. And when the fresh water was distributed to the cells, after the removal of the salt solution, the cells expanded back into almost their original size. Results & Observations What It Looked Like: Explanation Conclusions When we added the salt solution, the pigmented section of the cell contracted, pulling away from the cell wall. The central vacuoles within the cells shrunk significantly because of the hypertonic environment outside the cell. Due to the size of the salt, it was unable to penetrate through the cells selectively permeable membrane. The natural laws of osmosis decree that water flows from a higher concentration to a lower concentration. Because the salt solution was a lower concentration than the water inside the cell, it diffused out.
When we removed the salt solution and added fresh water, the pigmented sections grew primarily large and round, and over time settled to fit their rectangular walls. Due to the hypertonic nature of the Sodium Chloride solution surrounding the onion cells, the central vacuoles and cell membranes shrunk significantly and the white space between cells grew.
When fresh distilled water was added, the white spaces all but disappeared and the equilibrium was restored.
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