The Effect of Solvent Exposure and Temperature on Beet Cell Membrane Integrity

Topics: Cell membrane, Cell, Phospholipid Pages: 1 (360 words) Published: October 21, 2014
Firstly, 1mm beetroot disks were cut and washed in order to remove any excess betacyanin. We then distributed the disks into 6 test tubes, so that there were 6 disks in each. After 10ml of water had been added, 5 of the tubes were put into water baths at 3, 25, 45, 55 and 70°C and the 6th tube was put into a deep freeze (without any water added). All 6 tubes were incubated for 45 minutes. Following incubation, water was added to the deep freeze tube, the tubes were al inverted in order to decant the solution and the absorbance of each solution was measured in a spectrophotometer. Damage to cell membrane integrity was assessed by quantifying leakage of the pigment betacyanin via measuring light absorbance

As seen from ‘Table 2’ and ‘Figure 1’, as temperature increases so does the level of absorbance. This is with the exception of the beetroot being kept at 77°C where the absorbance was 0.019 Å lower than the 55°C value of 2.510 Å. Deep freeze, 3°C and 25°C all produced solutions with a low absorbance. There was a dramatic increase at 45°C and then again even more so at 55°C.

Sources of stress can cause betacyanin to leak through both the tonoplast and plasma membrane. This leakage will produce a red color in the water surrounding the stressed beet cells. The amount of leakage can be related to the degree of membrane damage. As a result the degree of damage can be directly related to the intensity of the color that appears in the surrounding solution. Further the intensity of the color can be quantitatively assessed using an instrument known as a spectrophotometer.

While the phospholipids bilayer is a highly organized system with multiple functions, it is also highly dynamic and can be functionally described using the fluid mosaic model (FMM) o FMM characterizes the phospholipids bilayer of the cell membrane as highly dynamic and fluid meaning that the position (location) of any given phospholipids in the membrane is not fixed but fluid; thus, individual...
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