Membrane Permeability under Stressful Conditions
Membrane permeability is a primary function of the cell. This experiment tests the limits at which permeability will function in beet root cells. Beet roots were chosen because of the betacyanin that is stored in the cells. As the cells became damaged, more betacyanin was released prompting a higher absorbance rate. The experiment found that as wet temperatures became higher more damage was being caused to the cell. The experiment also tested dry temperature extremes and the effects of organic solvents. Dry temperatures at boiling point showed higher amounts of damage that at freezing point. It was also found that methanol caused more damage to a cell than acetone or toluene.
Membrane permeability is a very important function to the cell, as it allows the cell to select what types of particle to leave and enter the cell. This transport of materials is used to maintain water content, provide food, and allows the cell to remove waste. This permeability is dependant upon the maintenance of the structural integrity of all it components.
This experiment should provide an understanding of the effects of stressful conditions on cell permeability in beet root cells. Three stressors will be tested at varied intensities to understand how a cell will react to steady increases in wet temperature, extremes in dry temperature, and exposure to organic solvents. The effects will be seen as an increase in red pigmentation as the cell structure is being violated by the extreme temperatures and organic solvents. This pigmentation is caused by the release of betacyanin in the cell. As more betacyanin is released the sample will become increasingly more colored. Betacyanin was chosen as an indicator because of its location within the cell as well as its lack of permeability to the vacuolar membrane and the cell’s plasma membrane. This increase in pigmentation will be enumerated by the...