Carry out the following osmosis experiment:
Take four peeled potato halves and scoop each one out to make potato cups. One of these potato cups should be made from a boiled potato. Put each potato cup in a trough containing water. Now,
(a) Keep cup A empty
(b) Put one teaspoon sugar in cup B
(c) Put one teaspoon salt in cup C
(d) Put one teaspoon sugar in the boiled potato cup D.
Keep these for two hours. Then observe the four potato cups and answer the following:
(i) Explain why water gathers in the hollowed portion of B and C.
(ii) Why is potato A necessary for this experiment?
(iii) Explain why water does not gather in the hollowed out portions of A and D.
(i) Water gathers in the hollowed portions of set-up B and C because water enters the potato as a result of osmosis. Since the medium surrounding the cell has a higher water concentration than the cell, the water moves inside by osmosis. Hence, water gathers in the hollowed portions of the potato cup.
(ii) Potato A in the experiment acts as a control set-up. No water gathers in the hollowed portions of potato A.
(iii) Water does not gather in the hollowed portions of potato A because potato cup A is empty. It is a control set-up in the experiment.
Water is not able to enter potato D because the potato used here is boiled. Boiling denatures the proteins present in the cell membrane and thus, disrupts the cell membrane. For osmosis, a semi-permeable membrane is required, which is disrupted in this case. Therefore, osmosis will not occur. Hence, water does not enter the boiled potato cup.
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