biological chemistry

Biological Importance of Water


biological functions of water

Biological Importance of Water

Water is the mother liquid of all forms of life. The essentiality of water for living systems is quite evident as without water, there is no life. No other substance on earth is abundant as water. All aspects of cell structure and functions are adapted to the physical and chemical properties of water. The following are the important biological significance or importance of water in the living system.

(1).  Water is a ‘universal solvent’.

(2).   Water can dissolve most of the biologically important molecules.

(3).  It is the solvent of life. The life originated in water and adapted to survive only in the presence of water.

(4).  About 70 to 90% of a cell occupies water.

(5).  Water acts as a medium for the diffusion of molecules in the cell.

(6).  Osmotic concentration of cell is maintained by water and dissolved solutes.

(7).  The turgidity of the cell is maintained by the water.

(8).  Translocation of inorganic and organic compounds in the living system takes place through the water.

(9).  Carbohydrates, the product of photosynthesis, in plants are transported through the water.

(10).  Water is the source of H+ ions for photosynthesis.

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biological chemistry

Physical and Chemical Properties of Water and its Biological Significance


biological significance of water

Physical and Chemical Properties of Water and its Biological Significance

Water is the most abundant substance in the living system. Water makes up about 70% or more of the weight of almost all organisms. The life has originated in remote past in the aqueous environment. The properties (both physical and chemical) of water enabled it as the ‘solvent of life’. The water possesses some unusual physical and chemical properties. These ‘unusual properties’ are responsible making water as the ‘solvent of life’. The present post describes the Physical, Chemical and Unusual Properties of Water. We will also discuss the importance or significance of these properties of water in the biological system.

The unusual properties of water are mainly due to three factors:

(A).  The small size of water molecules

(B).  The polarity of water molecules

(C).  The formation of hydrogen bonds between adjacent water molecules

Most important physio-chemical and unusual properties of water can be summarized into the following heads:

(1).  Solvent properties of water

(2).  High heat capacity of water

(3).  High heat of vaporization

(4).  High heat of fusion

(5).  Density and freezing properties

(6).  High cohesion, adhesion and surface tension of water

(7).  Water acts as a reactant

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