In normal cells of Valonia the order of the apparent mobilities of the ions in the non-aqueous protoplasmic surface is K > Cl > Na. After treatment with 0.01 M guaiacol (which does not injure the cell) the order becomes Na > Cl > K.
As it does not seem probable that such a reversal could occur with simple ions we may assume provisionally that in the protoplasmic surface we have to do with charged complexes of the type (KXI)+, (KXII)+, where XI and XII are elements or radicals, or with chemical compounds formed in the protoplasm.
When 0.01 M guaiacol is added to sea water or to 0.6 M NaCl (both at pH 6.4, where the concentration of the guaiacol ion is negligible) the P.D. of the cell changes (after a short latent period) from about 10 mv. negative to about 28 mv. positive and then slowly returns approximately to its original value (Fig. 1, p. 14). This appears to depend chiefly on changes in the apparent mobilities of organic ions in the protoplasm.
The protoplasmic surface is capable of so much change that it does not seem probable that it is a monomolecular layer. It does not behave like a collodion nor a protein film since the apparent mobility of Na+ can increase while that of K+ is decreasing under the influence of guaiacol.