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    Im currently revising transport across membranes and have come to water and solute potential - which isnt very well explained in the book.

    Pure water has a solute AND water potential of zero (right?). It then says that a hypotonic solution has a lower solute potential and therefore a higher water potential. How can that be? Surely that would mean that if you had some pure water and added some solute, the water potential would increase above zero - but thats not possible!

    Could anybody explain this properly?
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    If you had pure water, and added some solute to it, then the water potential would go from zero to a negative number
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    Thats exactly what I thought, so as solute potential decreases, so does water potential. When the book says 'lower' it probably means closer to zero (less negative) but its not very clear!
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    If the solution is concentrated, it contains alot of solute molecules than water molecules.

    Solute potential means the effect of the solute concentrations.

    So in hypotonic solution the inside of the cell has a low solute potential (the effect of the solute concentration is less) so there must be a high water potential (more water molecules), so water will diffuse out the cell because outside the cell there is a low water potential.

    Becuase water potential of a solution is basically the tendency for water to diffuse out .
    WATER DIFFUSES FROM A HIGH WATER POTENTIAL TO A LOW WATER POTENITAL, DOWN A WATER POTETIAL GRADIENT.
 
 
 
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Updated: June 18, 2005
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