The Effect of Temperature on Beet Cell Membranes

Topics: Cell membrane, Phospholipid, Cholesterol Pages: 3 (1226 words) Published: June 28, 2012
The effect of temperature on beet cell membranes

Introduction: A cell membrane of a beet (Beta Vulgaris) is made up of a phospholipid bilayer with embedded proteins and cholesterols. The membrane is responsible for organizing the cell, protecting it from the exterior environment, as well as responsible for regulating what goes in and out of the cell though it’s protein channels and “selectively permeable” bilayer. (Campbell, Reece, Taylor & Simon, 2006, p. 79-80) When this membrane is damaged the reddish color, betacyanin, of the beet leaks out into it’s surroundings. (Online lab #1, n.d.) Based on previous experience I know that applying heat can act as a dilator and cold as a constrictor. If this fact should remain true for the membrane of the cell, I can hypothesize that the higher the temperature the more damage to the membrane. That’s to say: I hypothesize that at 70C, the intensity will be a 10.

I hypothesize that at 55C, the intensity will be an 8.
I hypothesize that at 40C, the intensity will be a 5.
I hypothesize that at 25C, the intensity will be a 3.
I hypothesize that at 5C, the intensity will be a 2.
I hypothesize that at -5C, the intensity will be a 1.

Method: A beet was cut in to six .7 cm X .7cm X 1.5cm samples, then rinsed to remove the betacyanin that was released by damaging surface cells during the cutting process. Once rinsed the samples were each placed into one of 6 numbered test tubes. Test tube 5 was put in the refrigerator to achieve 5C and 6 in the freezer to achieve -5C, and a 30 minutes timer was set. Next 60 ml of water was heated to 70C in a beaker. The sample from test tube 1 was deposited into the beaker and timed for one minute, after which it was removed and placed back in the tube 1. Three squirts from a small pipette of room temperature water were also put in the tube in order to cover the sample. Once the water was added a 20-minute timer was set. At that time the beaker of water was cooled and the process was...
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