What the effect of temperature can have on plant cell membranes.
The aim of this investigation is to find out what the effect of temperature can have on plant cell membranes . For this experiment I will be using different temperatures ranging from below 0 to 80 Celsius in a regular, increasing pattern to see how this effects my chosen plant; beetroot. I predict that the higher the temperature the more cell damage will occur to the membrane therefore allowing more color to leak out.
Beetroot is a vegetable, which is used greatly in food making and an important ingredient in recipe books. It is usually recommended that you don't remove the outer skin of the beetroot and don't cut off all the stalk and root if you want to avoid getting lots of red dye in the cooking water. Beetroot contains a red pigment called betalains, which is located in the large central vacuole of the beetroot cells. A single membrane called the tonoplast encloses the vacuole and the whole cell is enclosed by the cell membrane made up of phospholipids and proteins. Betalains will remain inside the vacuoles of intact cells. However, if the membranes are damaged, betalains will leak out and produce a red/dark pink color in the surrounding water.
Membranes are made of a bilayer of phospholipids and protein molecules, which contribute to its selectively permeable nature. The key aspect to notice here is that the cell membrane is made of proteins, which are made up of chains of amino acids. The linking of amino acids is strong in a protein, however the three dimensional shape of the protein is determined via hydrogen bonds which are relatively weak, and can be broken by heat and chemicals. Once the hydrogen bonds are broken the protein can no longer function correctly, as is the case in the cell membrane. The function and permeability of the cell membrane depends on its intact structure. When destroyed, the permeability of the cell membrane is disrupted causing cellular...