When Valonia cells are impaled on capillaries, it is in some ways equivalent to removing the comparatively inelastic cellulose wall. Under these conditions sap can migrate into a free space and it is found that on the average the rate of increase of volume of the sap is 15 times what it is in intact cells kept under comparable conditions.

The rate of increase of volume is a little faster during the first few hours of the experiment, but it soon becomes approximately linear and remains so as long as the experiment is continued.

The slightly faster rate at first may mean that the osmotic pressure of the sap is approaching that of the sea water (in the intact cell the sap osmotic pressure is always slightly above that of the sea water). This might result from a more rapid entrance of water than of electrolyte, as would be expected when the restriction of the cellulose wall was removed.

During the linear part of the curve the osmotic concentration and the composition of the sap suffer no change, so that entrance of electrolyte must be 15 times as fast in the impaled cells as it is in the intact cells.

The explanation which best accords with the facts is that in the intact cell the entrance of electrolyte tends to increase the osmotic pressure. As a consequence the protoplasm is partially dehydrated temporarily and it cannot take up more water until the cellulose wall grows so that it can enclose more volume. The dehydration of the protoplasm may have the effect of making the non-aqueous protoplasm less permeable to electrolytes by reducing the diffusion and partition coefficients on which the rate of entrance depends. In this way the cell is protected against great fluctuations in the osmotic concentration of the sap.

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