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'''Cytolysis''' is the term to describe dissolving of cells Cytolysis occurs in a hypotonic environment where water diffuses into the cell to the fact that there is more solutes within the cell As the water continues to diffuse into the cell the cell grows larger and will eventually burst if too much water enters This bursting is called cytolysis
Cytolysis does not occur in plant cells because plant cells have a strong cell wall which builds up the pressure which causes cytolysis to occur in other cells This pressure is called turgor pressure

Preventing Cytolysis

Different cells/organisms have adapted different ways to prevent cytolysis from occuring For example the paramecium uses a contractile vacoule which rapidly pumps out the water which diffuses into it. As a result cytolysis will not occur since there is no build-up of water within the cell which causes it to burst
Other organisms pump solutes out of their cytosol which brings the solute concentration closer to that of their environment and slow down the process of water diffusing into the cell preventing cytolysis

See Also:

  • osmotic lysis
  • chemical lysis
  • viral lysis