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This experiment aims to determine what effect an increase in the surrounding temperature has on the cell membrane of a beetroot cell.

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Introduction

The Permeability of Cell Membranes Aim This experiment aims to determine what effect an increase in the surrounding temperature has on the cell membrane of a beetroot cell. Hypothesis An increase in temperature will damage and denature the cell membrane and cause the substances contained within the membrane e.g. anthocyanin(red dye) to leak out, meaning that as the temperature increases the amount of light let through the substances will decrease, as the dye will colour the water. Apparatus 20 discs of beetroot, Heat proof mat, Bunsen burner, tripod, gauze, 250 cm3 Beaker (for water bath), thermometer, colourimeter, 7 test tubes containing 10cm3 of distilled water, tongs, stop-clock, test tube rack. Method The water bath must be heated to 70oc (the maximum temperature for our experiment) using the Bunsen burner and tripod. Once the water bath is at the correct temperature (measured using our thermometer), place 2 discs of beetroot into the water bath. ...read more.

Middle

leaked out of plant cells as the temperature increases. The percentage of light passed through the liquids increase fairly steadily with one exception at 60 oc where the percentage increases from 47% to 75%. This is almost certainly due to experimental error. It is the breakdown of the lipids which make up the plasma membrane that causes 'holes' to appear in the membrane, allowing fluids to pass out freely, but when the temperatures begin to get higher still, the proteins in the cells begin to decompose as well, meaning the release of anthocyanin increases as the temperature raises. This explains my results because as the temperature increased the amount of light let through decreased, meaning more anthocyanin was being released from the cells in the beetroot . It would have been beneficial to have repeated the experiment more times to make certain that the results were not gained through chance or by an external factor. ...read more.

Conclusion

As you can see for my results and graph as the temperature increases the percentage of light let through decreases. This is because as the temperature rises it causes the breakdown of the lipids which make up the plasma membrane. This then causes 'holes' to appear in the membrane, allowing fluids to pass out freely, but when the temperatures begin to get higher still, the proteins in the cells begin to decompose as well. Meaning that anthocyanin will be released into the surrounding water, changing the colour. This means the water from the higher temperatures will be darker in colour leading to less light passing through them, which means the colourimeter will show a low percentage of light detected. For example 70 oc only lets 40% light through. Results Temperature (oc) The percentage of light let through (compared to distilled water 100%) 70 oc 40% 65 oc 47% 60 oc 75% 55 oc 81% 50 oc 89% 45 oc 95% 40 oc 100% ...read more.

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