GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GERD GUENTHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lower epidermis of an onion skin undergoing plasmolysis. The cells are colourless, but easy to peel off, a common subject for the first plant cell studied at secondary school. The footage starts with normal cells called 'turgid', that is they are pretty full of water and hence there is enough pressure against the rigid cell wall for the cells to keep their brick-like shape. An 1mol potassium nitrate solution is added under the cover slide, water is drawn out of the cell, the vacuoles and the protoplasts shrink. In some cells you can see Hechtian strands, thread-like strands connecting the cell wall to the plasmalemma. Footage taken with time-lapse of about 500% with an 20x objective, field of view 0,5mm, magnification 200x when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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