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Can Different Temperatures Affect the Cell Membrane of a Beetroot?

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Can Different Temperature Effect the Cell Membrane of a Beetroot By Christopher Black & Lachlan Brown Table of Contents Abstract Introduction Aim Hypothesis Material Method Results Discussion Conclusion ________________ Abstract The aim of this experiment was to see whether different temperatures will affect the cell membrane, thus would then releases the purple pigments out of the vacuole which causes the leakage of the purplish liquid. ________________ Background Information The outermost layer is the cell wall, which is present only in plant cells and is made up of a carbohydrate called cellulose and also has other protein substances embedded within it. The cell wall is a rigid layer and gives structural stability to the cell and also limits the permeability of large substances into and out of the cell. Within the cell wall, surrounding the cytoplasm is the cell membrane which is a semi-permeable membrane consisting of a phospholipid bilayer. The bilayer consists of phospholipids which arrange themselves so that the hydrophobic (?water hating?) ...read more.


These are formed because the phospholipids that make it up have a hydrophilic (?water loving?) head and a hydrophobic (?water hating?) tail. The tails pack together, exposing only the heads to the water. This is the phospholipid bilayer. The beetroot pigment is used commercially as food dye. It changes colour when heated so can only be used in ice-cream, sweets and other confectionary, but it is both cheap and has no known allergic side-effects. Aim To investigate whether different temperatures can damage and denature the plasma cell surface membrane of beetroot cells. This would then release the beetroot pigments out of the vacuole which causes the leakage of the purplish liquid. Hypothesis Beetroot in hotter water will release its pigments more than beetroot in cooler water. The hotter water should break more vacuoles containing the pigments which will make the water appear to be more purple. Meanwhile the colder water will still have pigments throughout the water, and therefore will be scarcer. ...read more.


Even though cutting them side by side of each other did make them look similar, the sizes were off still. The experiment as brought sight to what can happen when a fruit or vegetable or flower is heated in water will do. The water colouring process will accelerate more than twice as fast and that could provide big opportunities in some companies. A flaw in the experimental design was that attention wasn?t given to the material of test tubes that were used. A glass test tube was used for the beetroot that was frozen in the freezer; while in fact a plastic test tube should have been used because the glass test tube could not flex to the expansion of the water in the test tube and so resulting it to crack. Conclusion In conclusion, the hypothesis was supported as the beetroot?s pigments were release more in the hot water more than the cold water did. The hotter water made the beetroot cell vacuoles to burst, releasing the pigments, thus colouring the water. ...read more.

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