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How do hypertonic solutions kill bacteria and fungi?

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint: If the solute concentration is greater than that inside the cell, a solution would be hypertonic to a cell, and the solutes will not cross the membrane. A solution of more dissolved particles than normal cells and blood (such as salt and other electrolytes.

Complete answer:
Tonicity is defined as the ability of an extracellular solution to allow water pass into or out of a cell through osmosis.
If a cell is placed in a hypertonic solution and the cell loses volume, the net flux of water would occur out of the cell. If the concentration of the solution within the cell is greater than that within it, the solution is hypertonic in a cell and the solutes do not cross the membrane.
Plasmolysis is an organic exosmosis process when a cell or tissue is placed in a potent hypertonic solution (more salt and less water), a cell's protoplasm shrinks from its cell wall and the cell dies. In the hypertonic solution, even bacteria and fungi cannot thrive because they cannot live in an environment with a high concentration of salt as it is destroyed by plasmolysis.
Bacteria and fungi are dehydrated by hypertonic solutions, causing cell functions to shut down. A hypertonic solution has a higher solute concentration and a lower water concentration than the cell. This will cause the process of osmosis to cause a net movement of water out of the cell and into the solution. If the difference in concentration is too great, the cells of the bacteria and fungi will become dehydrated to the point that they will be killed. Dehydration causes the substances inside the cell to survive at a concentration that is too high. They will not be able to carry out chemical reactions necessary for life.

Other than hypertonic solutions, Hypotonic and isotonic solutions exist. There will be a net flow of water into the cell when a cell is put in a hypotonic solution, and the cell will gain volume. If the concentration of the solutes outside the cell is lower than inside the cell and the membrane cannot be crossed by the solutes, then the solution is hypotonic to the cell. If a cell is inserted into an isotonic solution and its cell volume remains stable, no net flow of water is made into or out of the cell. If the concentration of the solution outside the cell is the same as within the cell, and the membrane cannot be crossed by the solutes, then the solution is isotonic to the cell.