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An investigation on the effect of temperature on beetroot membrane structure.

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An investigation on the effect of temperature on beetroot membrane structure Hypothesis: As the temperature increases, the concentrationamount of betalains leaking from beetroot membranes increases. Null hypothesis: Background information: As the temperature increases, the concentration of betalains leaking out from the beetroot membrane will not increase. Introduction: The problem that I will be investigating in the experiment is that if the membrane structure is affected by temperature of different ranges. Beetroot contains red pigments called betalains, and they are located in the cell vacuoles (as water soluble protein complexes). When the cells of the beetroot are cut or heated they release the betalainsreleases red pigments, and this is why red beetroot leave a purple/red stain. (1) The cell membrane is a partially permeable lipid bilayer coated by proteins which comprises the outer layer of a cell (see fig 1). (Fig 1 ref 2) This membrane is a partially permeable membrane. The proteins are embedded inside of the cell membrane. The lipid content of the membrane allows the cell membrane to automatically repair itself when it is torn. The movement of cells can also be described by the fluid mosaic model (see fig 2). (Fig 2 ref 3) The lipid bilayers are fluid and so individual phospholipids diffuse rapidly throughout the two dimensional surface of the membrane. It is named the fluid mosaic model because it included proteins; (integral proteins, peripheral proteins, and glycoproteins), cholesterol, glycolipids and phospholipids. ...read more.


Leave for 10 min to wash away excess dye. 3) Next, place eight labelled boiling tubes containing 5 cm3 distilled water into water baths at: 200c, 300c, 400c, 500c, 600c, and 700c. Leave for 5 minutes until the water reaches the required temperature. Place one of the beetroot sections into each of the boiling tubes. Leave for 20 minutes in the water baths 4) Remove beetroot sections (dispose of them in the bin); shake the water/ solution to disperse the dye 5) Switch on the colorimeter as set it to read "%" absorbance 6) Set the filter dial to the blue/green filter (why?) 7) Adjust the colorimeter to read "0" absorbance for clear water. Do not alter the setting again during the experiment. 8) Make sure that the tubes (with the coloured solution) are dry. Place the tube in to the colorimeter and take the reading. 9) Repeat the reading for all the temperatures 10) Combine your data for absorbance with other groups to produce a class set. Number and types of measurements: Reliability: In the experiment 10 trials will be carried out, this is so it improves the accuracy of the experiment. As the mean will be calculated thus minimizing the effect if any anomalies, and the range will be calculated to get an idea of the reliability of the method and the data produced. Statistical test: A t-test will be used to determine whether the data is significant or not significant at the 5% level of probability. ...read more.


Random errors: Random errors also occurred in my results and this is due to the water temperature; as they could change without us noticing. Also, the position in beetroot in which cells were taken differed which may have effected the concentration of betalains in beetroot cells. In addition, everyone in the class used a different size 4 borer and they might be different sizes. And finally, slices of beetroot we supposed to be cut 1 cm, but each group may have been slightly have cut different sizes as the rulers are not accurate. The ways in which the experiment could be improved in order to make the results more reliable and valid could be by: 1. everyone in the class using the same borer 2. monitoring the temperature of the water baths at all times 3. using the same colorimeter 4. everyone cutting from same position of the beetroot Summary/conclusion: The aim of doing this experiment was to see the effect of temperature on the release of betalain from beetroot cells. This was done by taking six relatively identical pieces of beetroot and placing them in different water-baths at different temperatures and testing how much betalains pigment leak out of cell across membrane. I found a positive correlation between the temperature and the amount of pigment that was released. This is due to the temperature the protein denatures which therefore damages the cell membrane and so cause the betalains to leak out of it as the temperature of the water baths increased. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a well structured and well written essay that covers the necessary sections for this investigation.
1. The introduction is well written and includes relevant diagrams and references.
2. The table of results is well presented.
3. The conclusion needs to quote data from the investigation and explain the patterns that have been found.
4. The evaluation is good but needs to suggest further research opportunities.

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 23/07/2013

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