The Effect of Temperature on Beet Cell Membranes and Concentration of Betacyanin Released
Membranes are an important feature of plant cells and they act as a barrier that separates the interior of the cell from the external environment (Campbell et al., 2008). Each membrane layer is composed of a phospholipid layer, which is semi-permeable and possesses the ability to control the movement of diffusion. Within the centre of a cell, the vacuole that is responsible for storage and the maintenance of osmotic balance can be located. In this study, we are using beets to study these cellular structures. Beet is a plant whose cells contain a characteristic red pigment, called betacyanin. It is located in the vacuole, which is surrounded by the tonoplast membrane (Biology 107 Lab Manual 2010-2011). In order for the betacyanin to remain inside the cell, the membrane must stays intact; otherwise betacyanin will leak out of the vacuole, causing a red color in the surrounding area. The objective of this study was to observe how temperature disrupts the membrane function in living beet cells. One aspect of this included a comparison of the amount of betacyanin that is released in different temperature treatments. A spectrophotometer will be used to measure this variable by measuring the absorbance value of the betacyanin in solution after each treatment. The results of this study will show the necessary temperature to keep the vacuole intact. It would influence common agriculture practices by indicating a more ideal environment setting and techniques. At the same time, it would allow scientists to have a better understanding of cell structure and functions. We hypothesize that beet cells in a high temperature environment will release more betacyanin in comparison to beet cells in a room temperature environment. The increased temperature will increase the damage of membranes, thus no longer able to enclose betacyanin within the vacuole. In contrast, as...
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