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To investigate the effect of sucrose solution on plant cells.

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To investigate the effect of sucrose solution on plant cells Planning I intend to investigate the effect of sucrose solution on plant cells. To do this, I have chosen to use potatoes. There are several advantages to using potatoes. Potatoes are easy to cut and also have large vacuoles which mean it is easier to measure or track water movement because the changes will be significant. The following diagram shows the structure of a potato cell: Hypothesis This investigation is based on the theory of osmosis. Osmosis is the passage of water molecules from a high water potential into a lower water potential, through a partially permeable membrane. In this case, the tiny holes in the membrane of the potatoes will permit water molecules to pass in and out of the solution and the potato, depending on the concentrations of the two substances. When the water concentration is lower in the tissue than in the potato, the water will enter the potato tissue, and as a result the potato will gain weight. If there is very little different in the two water concentrations, there shouldn't be such a big change in weight. But if, however, there is a higher concentration of water in the potato, the water will leave the potato. ...read more.


In order to do this I will use a knife to cut the potato chips to the same size. I will have 2 sets of 11 different molar sucrose solutions ranging from 0M up to 1M going up in intervals of 0.1M. Then I will place the already prepared potatoes into the different solutions after first weighing and recording their mass and their flexibility. The potatoes will be left in the same corner of a room overnight to ensure that osmosis has taken place fully. Then I will take the potatoes out of the test tubes and dry them. I will re-weigh them recording any changes in mass and in flexibility. I will have to measure the change in mass as well as the percentage change in mass. Then I will have to work out the average percentage change in mass for each result as there will be two potatoes going into each solution. This is to ensure that any errors are kept to a minimum and reduces the likelihood of having anomalous results. Results The table below is the set of results obtained from the experiment that I conducted. I took two sets of results for potato chips in each sucrose solution. ...read more.


* We only put 10cm? of solution in the test tubes and so this could mean that the solution could easily get weaker due to the "dilution effect". The dilution effect occurs when osmosis takes place. In stronger sucrose solutions, water leaves the potato cells, causing the solution to become weaker and more dilute, meaning that not as water would come out as expected. In weaker solutions, this is not really a problem. To overcome this, one could increase the volume of the solution used so that the dilution effect would be less, or the solution could be refreshed every so often to prevent the solution from getting weaker during the experiment. * We did not cut the potato chips from the same part of the potato so the concentrations of sucrose in the potato chips could have been different depending on which part of the potato we cut the chips from. If I conducted the experiment again I would change the following things to improve the experiment: * The volume of sucrose solution - I would put more sucrose solution in the test tubes or refresh the solution every ten minutes or so to ensure that the solution hadn't been diluted by the water coming out of the potato cells. A larger volume would mean that the solution is diluted less. ...read more.

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