Phenomenon: Cells Placed in Salt Water


What will happen to cells placed in salt water? You might have some initial ideas, but we can actually observe what happens by looking at the cells of an elodea plant under the microscope. You will prepare two slides, one will have the leaf in its normal water and the second will have a leaf that has been soaked for a few minutes in salt water.


1) Obtain two leaves from an elodea plant that is grown in aquarium water. Place one of the leaves on a slide and observe the cells under a microscope. You should be able to identify the chloroplasts and an empty space in the middle of the cells which is the vacuole.

2) Soak the other leaf in a salt water solution and observe the cells under the microscope. Compare the cells to the first slide.


Sketch your slides, showing how the cells appeared in each solution.



What happened to the cells soaked in salt water?


Why do you think this happened?


Consider what would happen to an entire plant soaked in salt water? What do you think that would look like?