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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A red blood cell in a hypertonic solution, causing water to move out of the cell.
Medical specialtyCell biology
Before plasmolysis (top) and after (bottom)

Plasmolysis is the process in which cells lose water in a hypertonic solution. It is the shrinkage of the cytoplasm and cell surface membrane from the cell wall. If a plant cell is placed in a solution of lower water potential, the molecules of water leave the vacuole by osmosis. The vacuole loses water and becomes smaller. The cell is said to be plasmolysed.


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The term plasmolysis comes from the Latin word plasma meaning ‘matrix’ and the Greek word lysis, meaning ‘loosening’.