One type of membrane-bound vacuole found in plant cells, the tonoplast, is quite large and usually contains water. In beet plants, this membrane-bound vacuole also contains a watersoluble red pigment, betacyanin, that gives the beet its characteristic color. Since the pigment is water soluble and not lipid soluble, it remains in the vacuole when the cells are healthy. If the integrity of a membrane is disrupted, however, …show more content…
This usually means the cell is dead.
In this experiment, you will test the effect of three different alcohols (methanol, ethanol, and
1-propanol) on membranes. Ethanol is found in alcoholic beverages. Methanol, sometimes referred to as wood alcohol, can cause blindness and death. Propanol is fatal if consumed. …show more content…
If beet membranes are damaged, the red pigment will leak out into the surrounding environment.
The intensity of color in the environment should be proportional to the amount of cellular damage sustained by the beet.
To measure the color intensity, you will be using a Colorimeter or Spectrometer. In this device, blue light from the LED light source will pass through the solution and strike a photocell. The alcohol solutions used in this experiment are clear. If the beet pigment leaks into the solution, it will color the solution red. A higher concentration of colored solution absorbs more light and transmits less light than a solution of lower concentration. The device monitors the light received by the photocell as either an absorbance or a percent transmittance value.
You are to prepare five solutions of differing alcohol concentrations (0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and
40%) for each of the three alcohols. A small piece of beet is placed in each solution. After ten minutes, each alcohol solution is transferred to a cuvette that is placed into the Colorimeter or
Spectrometer. The amount of light that penetrates the solution and strikes the photocell is used