What happens to Paramecium (protist) in Hypotonic, Isotonic and Hypertonic Solutions?
1 year ago
In hypotonic environment, the water moving into the Paramecium cell by osmosis. Paramecium cells regulate water through special organelles which are known as contractile vacuoles. Paramecium is a freshwater organism, which means a hypotonic environment is its typical ambience.
In isotonic environment, the water will come in and out of the Paramecium cell, so the cell will be in equilibrium.
In hypertonic environment, Paramecium cell will lose water due to osmosis and eventually die.
The Paramecium will be constantly exchanging water with its surroundings in all three situations (i.e. water moving into the Paramecium and out of it). However, depending on the 'solute' concentration (different types of molecules - i.e. organs, ions, etc.), the net amount of water moving in either direction differs.
Remember: Osmosis is the movement of water from an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration through a semi-permeable membrane (a barrier that allows only certain 'things' to flow through- in this case only water molecules).
In a hypertonic solution, there is more 'solute' in the surroundings than inside the Paramecium. There is more water flowing from the Paramecium (low solute concentration) to the surroundings (high solute concentration). The Paramecium will shrink/ shrivel.
In a hypotonic solution, there is less 'solute' in the surroundings then inside the Paramecium. There is more water flowing from the surroundings (low solute concentration) to the Paramecium (high solute concentration). The Paramecium will swell/ burst.
In an isotonic solution, there is an equal amount of solute in the surroundings and Paramecium. There is no difference between water flow in and out of the Paramecium, so there is no change in size.