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Beetroot Experiment on temperature and Cell Membrane Permeability

Discussion in 'Science' started by ferrisbueller, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Hi, I did this excellent experiment recently teaching my AS level Biology students. Your conclusion is correct, and I have added a few extra points that you & your family friend may find useful :
    • Higher temperatures (for example, from 55 °C) increased the permeability of the
      tonoplast and plasma membrane
    • The phospholipid bilayer could become
      progressively more disaggregated (increased kinetic energy of phospholipid

    • Membrane
      proteins could become denatured

    • Both could create extra holes for pigment
      leakage by diffusion – more leaky membranes and faster diffusion at higher
    • Without the ability to control what goes in and
      out of cells, the control mechanisms in cells are disrupted, so they die.
    Enjoy [​IMG]
  2. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Permeability increases well below 55C - you will see an increase from 0C upwards as the fluidity of the membrane increases.
    This is an experiment that can give good or rubbish results. Rubbish comes from:
    • using different beetroot for different samples
    • taking samples from different soil depths, they should be from the same circumference line
    • different depths of sample from the outside in
    At this time of year in particular, plants are changing their membrane make-up to acclimatize for winter which can affect results. Cells in different parts of the beetroot are changing at a different rate, so causing "noise" from the above effects.
  3. big feet

    big feet New commenter

    Thanks : )

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