Definition - What does Hypotonic mean?

In botany, hypotonic refers to a solution that features a far lower osmotic pressure than other solutions used for plants. Hypotonic is also used to help scientists compare and describe cells. The effects of hypotonic, isotonic, and hypertonic environments on plant cells are similar, but the visible effects may differ because of the plant’s cell walls.

MaximumYield explains Hypotonic

If a hypotonic solution is poured into a hypertonic solution, the mixture will initially display low and high concentration but eventually settle and reach equilibrium. When exposed to a hypotonic environment, the plant cells tend to absorb more water through diffusion. Consequently, the extra water is stored in vacuoles and other specialized cells.

In a hypotonic environment, plant cells become more turgid which enables the plant to maintain both its stability and rigidity. This increases the plant's ability to absorb more sunlight. By contrast, plants exposed to hypertonic environments become flaccid since the plant cell’s cytoplasm starts to detach from the cell wall.

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