•The problem we are studying was to determine the cellular damage of various concentrations of propanol, ethanol, methanol, NaCL, and sodium dodecyl sulfate henceforth known as SDS on Beta vulgaris to ultimately distinguish the ability of each solution to permeate the membrane of the Beta vulgaris. •Beta vulgaris contains a beta cyanin which is a water-soluble red-pigment, which remains in a healthy vacuole surrounded by the tonoplast membrane. When we damage the tonoplast membrane and thus disrupt the vacuole, this red pigment spilled out into the solution and the solution turns red with a higher intensity of color proportionate to a higher amount of damage to the membrane. •Due to the three laws of diffusion across the membrane, that is relative size, relative polarity and absolute charge (Sadava, Heller, Hillis, and Berenbaum 2011) we concluded three different hypothesis concerning the three alcohols, NaCL, and SDS: oBased on the size of the molecules or amount of hydrogen atoms, the amount of diffusion will be fastest in methanol, and slowest in propanol with ethanol in the middle. The rate will also increase in each solution as the concentration of these solution increases. oAs detergents emulsify liquids, the amount of damage across the membrane increases at a constant rate, as the concentration of the SDS increases from low to high. oSince NaCL cannot cross the Beta vulgaris membrane, water will move into the Beta vulgaris membrane at a low concentration of NaCL, making the solution hypotonic, then out of the membrane as the concentration of NaCL increases, making the solution hypertonic. (Sadava, Heller, Hillis, and Berenbaum 2011) Results
Using the solutions of beta cyanin from Beta vulgaris and various concentrations of different alcohols, transferred from the spot plates to the spectrometer, and their absorbance values our results were compared in Figure 1. The absorbance values of the solution of sodium dodecyl sulfate and beta cyanin from Beta vulgaris can be seen in Figure 2. Figure 3 shows the absorbance values of the solution of NaCL and beta cyanin from Beta vulgaris.
Figure 1 demonstrates that propanol damaged the membrane the fastest at a maximum rate of .08 (where the slope of the line in Figure 1 for propanol is the steepest) and propanol damaged the membrane the slowest at a maximum rate of .01 (where the slope of the line in Figure 1 for methanol is the steepest). Ethanol damaged the membrane at a rate of .03. This was an increase in the rate of damage from methanol by a factor of 3 and a decrease from the rate of damage from propanol by a factor of .4. At a concentration of 20%, propanol damage to the membrane of Beta vulgaris leveled off and then decreased. This can be shown as the damage of propanol decreased from the 20% concentration to the 40% concentration by a factor of .89. Sodium dodecyl sulfate’s effect on the tonoplast membrane of Beta vulgaris is demonstrated in Figure 2. From a concentration of 0 to 0.2 SDS, the amount of damage to the membrane increased at a constant rate with R2=.99. Using Figure 3, the effect of NaCL on the Beta vulgaris tonoplast membrane can be seen. When there was 0% NaCl in the solution compared to when the concentration of NaCL was 3%, the movement of water across the Beta vulgaris membrane decreased from .083 to 0 by a factor of 0. The rate of beta cyanin and water across the membrane when there was no NaCL in the solution to a concentration of 3% was .02. From a concentration of 3% NaCL to a concentration of 6% NaCL, the rate of movement across the membrane changed to .013. As the concentration of NaCL increased from 6% to 12%, the absorbance values showed only a slight factor increase of 1.14 which increases at a rate of .001. Figures
Figure 1. Diffusion of methanol, ethanol and propanol to the Beta vulagaris tonoplast membrane. Uniform cubes of washed Beta vulgaris were placed in a spot plat with various concentrations of...