Guide Plant Cell Membranes

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Various cell organelles too are bounded by membranes. Chemically, structurally cellular protoplasm is enveloped by a membrane called plasma membrane.
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Cut each core into 2 cm sections until you have enough for one core for each temperature of water bath that you will be using. Put your 2 cm sections into a test tube with plenty of distilled water. Add exactly 5 cm 3 of distilled water to each test tube and place the tubes, one in each water bath, for 5 minutes to equilibrate to the water bath temperature. Decide whether forceps or mounted needles are best for handling the tissue and what damage this might cause to the cores. A piece of white card behind the tubes will make this easier to see.

Cell Biology/Membranes - Wikibooks, open books for an open world

Arrange the tubes in order of temperature of the water bath. Describe any relationship between the amount of pigment released from the beetroot and the temperature. Check the colorimeter reading for distilled water. Describe any trends or patterns in your results.


The dark red and purple pigments in beetroot are located in the cell vacuole and are chemical compounds called betalains. The pigments cannot pass through membranes, but can pass through the cellulose cell walls if the membranes are disrupted — by heat for example cooking , by surfactants, or after a long period pickled in vinegar.

Questions 1 and 2 on the student sheet ask the students to produce a hypothesis about the beetroot cells and make a prediction. Then they have to evaluate the procedure and see if they think it is a valid test of the hypothesis and will produce reliable results. They may wish to alter the procedure in the light of their thoughts.

Structure Of The Cell Membrane - Active and Passive Transport

The procedure allows for students to identify systematic and random variables. It is a good opportunity to practice graphical treatment of results, including standard deviation error bars to assess the variation in repeats. To save time, it might be a good idea to suggest that the number of temperatures used is reduced and students combine results to provide repeats at each temperature. Here is a sample of results obtained with a colorimeter — measuring transmission of light at nm rather than absorbance.

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Investigating the effect of temperature on plant cell membranes Class practical You and your students may be familiar with the observation that colour leaks out of beetroot when it is cooked. Lesson organisation This procedure lends itself to detailed evaluation, and provides an opportunity to discuss how you would like students to write up a practical. Nature Planta Reviews of Modern Physics By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines.

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Cell membrane

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