Turgor

Definition - What does Turgor mean?

The term turgor refers to the water pressure within a plant’s cells. Osmosis helps maintain a plant’s cellular turgor, and the membrane of the plant’s cells controls the turgor.

Water passes through the membrane into the middle of the cell and then back out. However, the membrane does not allow salts or nutrients to pass out of the cell. In this way, the cell’s membrane is differentially permeable. When the salt cannot leave the cells, the cells start to expand with water. This process is referred to as turgor.

MaximumYield explains Turgor

The turgor of the plant is what keeps the plant’s stem upright and keeps its leaves expanded to absorb adequate sunlight.

The inflated cells form a strong plant structure. Each cell inflates to form a firm structure and provide the plant with its robust form. If a plant does not receive adequate water, the cells deflate and the plant’s entire form wilts.

The plant also uses it turgor ability to store water for a limited time. Plants such as the aloe and the yucca store ample supplies of water in their cells, which is what gives them the stiff, fleshy appearance and enables them to withstand periods of drought.

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