Red onion plasmolysis experiment

Jonathan M. Greenberg jongreen at BLUEMARBLE.NET
Wed Dec 17 11:49:04 EST 1997


We are having trouble with the red onion plamolysis demo, in which a wet
mount is made of the thin layer of tissue between two layers of a red onion,
or an epidermal peel from a red layer. Drawing a hypertonic solution in
under the cover slip form one side with a paper towel on the other is
supposed to plasmolyze the cells. The red color is supposed to make this
easil yvisible as the cells contract away from the cell walls. We are not
seeing any effect, even when using equal voumes of water and dark Karo syrup.

Can anyone advise me as to errors in my description above, appropriate
concentrations of salt or sugar, or any other factor that helps to make this
work or interfere with it?

Many thanks.

Jon Greenberg




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