Turgidity: Definition, Significance, Types, Examples & Difference With Rigidity

Turgidity is required for plant cells to stand in one place for long periods. Turgid describes a cell that has been fully bolstered. It’s a cellular phase in which a plant cell is in a state of tension after drowning in water. Thus, turgidity is the state of a cell whose cell wall has been getting fully strengthened due to water absorption (endosmosis).

Turgor pressure is the water pressure inside plant cells. The osmosis mechanism keeps maintaining this pressure. It is the state of being turgid, especially when there is a lot of fluid in the body. Water intake can cause turgidity in a variety of cell types in a variety of organisms.

If you have questions on turgidity, we just have the answers. Read on as we dissect the reasons behind the state of turgid plants.


Turgidity: Definition

Turgid refers to cells or tissues that have swelled due to water uptake in biology. Turgidity is a bloated or puffy state caused only by a high fluid level. Turgidity is a state of cells in which a plant cell is in a state of tension after absorbing water. Plant cells that have been getting filled with water due to osmosis are turgid. Plasmolysis is the polar opposite of turgidity.

Turgidity is required for plant cells to maintain their erect position. Plant cells that remove a lot of water develop a lower turgor pressure and become flaccid. To put it another way, turgidity is the state of being pompous or puffy, especially due to a high fluid intake.

It is because of a flow of water entering the plant cell and its vacuole via osmosis. Turgor pressure is a phenomenon that occurs in plants, fungus, and bacteria and is getting induced by the osmotic movement of water. The turgor pressure, caused by water movement, stiffens the plant’s spongy components (stems, leaves, petals). Turgidity is required for plant cells to maintain their erect position. Normally, these pressures counterbalance one another and maintain a state of equilibrium between them.

The Plant cells that lose a lot of water develop a lower turgor pressure and become flaccid. The plant will eventually wilt as a result of the additional water loss.


Turgidity: Significance

  • The turgidity of guard cells controls the closing and opening of stomata. Plants and microorganisms both benefit from turgidity. It can also cause a cell to explode. It prevents the plants from becoming flaccid.
  • Turgidity causes cells to grow larger in the plume. It aids in the transport of nutritional solutions from one cell to the next. This is due to differences in the attention of the cell sap from one cell to the next.
  • Seeds and spores dispersal: Many fruits and sporangia enlarge and split off due to absorbing water, and seeds and spores disseminate. It is there for the development of several organs.
  • Mechanical support: Turgidity is the only way for aquatic plants’ moats to become stiff. Turgor pressure is also the water pressure inside plant cells, which is maintained through an osmosis process. This is significant since it is responsible for maintaining the plant’s upright and stiff posture.
  • Turgidity causes the embryo to become stiffer and come out of the seed coat, causing germination to dim. It aids in the transport of nutrients from one cell to the next. It’s necessary for the growth of a different organ.
  • It facilitates the transfer of nutritional solutions from one cell to the next. This is due to a differential in cell sap concentration between the two cells.
  • It is there for the development of several organs. It aids in the transport of nutritional solutions from one cell to the next. This is also because the concentration of cell sap differs from one cell to the next.

Plants require a lot of turgidities. This aids in the rigidity and uprightness of the plant. It also causes a cell to be full. Rigidity prevents wilting of the plants.

Turgidity: Types

Plant Cellular Turgidity

Cell walls are one of the most important components of a plant cell, and it is responsible for the turgidity of the plant. Other than the plasma membrane, the plant cell wall is another layer that surrounds the cell. It could be creation of one or two layers. The secretion of the second layer, which constitutes the secondary cell wall over the plasma membrane, is controlled by the original cell wall.

Plant turgidity occurs when the cells of a plant become turgid due to turgor pressure, which is the pressure caused as the water gets inside the cell. The cell wall of the plant organism is one of its most significant features.

The cell’s wall and the cell membrane of a plasmolyzed plant cell have gaps between them. When plant cells are placed in a hypotonic solution, this happens. The reduction of turgor pressure causes water molecules to migrate out from the cell. The cell membranes of a flaccid plant cell are not inflated and do not pressurize tightly against the cell wall. When a plant cell is placed in an isotonic solution, this happens.

A turgid cell has a high turgor pressure. Healthy plants have turgid cells (i.e. not wilted). The plant cell stores solutes (such as ions and carbohydrates) (especially inside its vacuole). As the inside of the cell has a higher solute concentration (and thus fewer water molecules) than the outside, water prefers to move in.

A hypotonic solution (one that surrounds the cell) has a lower solute concentration than the fluid inside the cell. Osmosis permits water to enter a plant cell when it is submerging in a hypotonic solution.


Non Turgid cells

An isotonic solution is the one in which the concentration of solutes in the solution is comparable to the density of solution inside the cell. There would never be any movement of water molecules between the two, indicating that there would be no net flow of water molecules between them. If you put the plant cell in an isotonic solution, it will become flaccid. Flaccidity is the medical term for this ailment.

Flaccid plant cells are not floppy, and their cell membrane does not press tightly against the cell wall. The turgor pressure is the difference between turgidity and flaccidity. When the turgor pressure is there with the cell wall, a plant cell appears swelled or distended in turgidity, whereas in flaccidity, the plant cell loses its turgidity and appears limp or flaccid.

Plasmolysed Cells

The turgor pressure of the plant cell in a hypotonic solution decreases as water molecules flow out of our cell. Plasmolyzed refers to the cell that lost its turgor pressure. Plant cells that have plasmolyzed themselves usually have holes between the cell wall and the cell membrane. In addition, the cell appeared to be shrinking. Plasmolysis is the process or state in which protoplasm shrinks as a result of water loss through osmosis. Plasmolysis, on the other hand, is a rare occurrence in nature. It is instead induced in a lab where plant cells are drowning.


Turgidity and Rigidity

Turgidity refers to a state of being turgid or swelled due to the fluid contained, as stated above. Rigidity, on the other hand, refers to a state of being stiff and unbending. Turgidity and stiffness are crucial characteristics of the plants because they help them be erect. Both of these characteristics are also due to the turgor pressure exerted against the cell wall.

As previously stated, cell walls protect the cell from osmotic pressure, which is too high could cause osmotic lysis in cells without it. By producing a thicker secondary layer containing lignin, the cell wall also provides structural support. Aside from that, celluloses are present in the cell wall, making it hard and durable. Another layer of pectin-rich intercellular substances lies between the cell walls. The middle lamella is the name given to this stratum. The main purpose is to hold neighbouring cells together. Overall, the plant’s cellular properties allow it to resist gravitational attraction and remain erect towards the source of light.