Investigations of the osmotic properties of oyster eggs by a diffraction method for measuring volumes have led to the following conclusions:

1. The product of cell volume and osmotic pressure is approximately constant, if allowance is made for osmotically inactive cell contents (law of Boyle-van't Hoff). The space occupied by osmotically inactive averages 44 per cent of cell volume.

2. Volume changes over a wide range of pressures are reversible, indicating that the semipermeability of the cell during such changes remains intact.

3. The kinetics of endosmosis and of exosmosis are described by the equation,

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where dV is rate of volume change; S, surface area of cell, (P-Pe), the difference in osmotic pressure between cell interior and medium, and K, the permeability of the cell to water.

4. Permeability to water during endosmosis is 0.6µ3 of water per minute, per square micron of cell surface, per atmosphere of pressure. The value of permeability for exosmosis is closely the same; in this respect the egg cell of the oyster appears to be a more perfect osmometer than the other marine cells which have been studied. Permeability to water computed by the equation given above is in good agreement with computations by the entirely different method devised by Jacobs.

5. Permeability to diethylene glycol averages 27.2, and to glycerol 20.7. These values express the number of mols x 10–15 which enter per minute through each square micron of cell surface at a concentration difference of 1 mol per liter and a temperature of 22.5°C.

6. Values for permeability to water and to the solutes tested are considerably higher for the oyster egg than for other forms of marine eggs previously examined.

7. The oyster egg because of its high degree of permeability is a natural osmometer particularly suitable for the study of the less readily penetrating solutes.

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