Plasmolysis occurs due to osmosis. The cells lose water when in a hypertonic tonic solution, this leads to the contraction of the cell away from the cell wall. If the cell is in a hypotonic solution, then the reverse happens. This process is called cytolysis or deplasmolysis.
Often, if the water loss is severe, it can cause the cells walls to collapse. This results in the death of the cell.
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