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The Effect of Temperature on Membrane

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A beetroot was used to determine the changes that happen due to increase in temperature. A cylinder of beetroot was cut into 1 cm for 15 pieces and was left in distilled water to remove its excess dye. Five test tubes filled with 10 cmᵌ distilled water were placed in different temperature water bath (25˚C, 35˚C, 45˚C, 55˚C and 65˚C) and after 25 minutes, the beetroot pieces were placed in the test tubes using forceps. After 30 minutes, the test tubes was removed from water bath and the solution was measured to 2cmᵌ using pipette, placed into cuvette and by using colorimeter the readings for absorbency was taken 3 times for each solution.

A higher reading of absorbance shows that there is more dye inside the water. This shows that, the more dye solution inside the water, the more the plasma membrane has been disrupted. There are some variables that are kept constant throughout the experiment. Such variable is the length of the beetroot slice is kept constant because we need the same amount of beetroot cell. Also, the size of cork borer used must also be the same so that we get a better and accurate result which is 1 cm. Using different size of cork borer can cause results to be invalid because maybe it will affect the reading of absorbance. The data and the graph clearly shows that the higher the temperature, the higher the absorbance reading. This proves that the disruption of plasma membrane increases with temperature and therefore increases the permeability of the membrane. This shows that the plasma membrane is affected by the temperature.

In general, my graph shows that as the temperature increases, the amount of pigment released from beetroot increases and the colorimeter reading increases as well.

My results increased sharply between the temperature ranges of 25˚C and 45˚C that is from 0.160 arbitrary unit to 0.315 arbitrary units. At ranges of temperature 45˚C and 55˚C, the change in arbitrary units is almost insignificant that is from 0.315 to 0.326. this is may cause by some mistakes during experiments such as not handling the beetroot with care or when the beetroot removed from boiling tube, beetroot dye wasn’t fully mixed with the water. It is the supply of kinetic energy due to the increase of temperature that increases the rate of diffusion. This will damage and denature the plasma membrane causing substances contained within the membrane to leak out. The breakdown of phospholipids in the membrane, cause gaps to appear allowing red pigment to pass through. As the red pigment particles move faster, they diffuse out of the membrane at a faster rate.

My hypothesis was correct as you can clearly see the correlation between temperature and membrane permeability.

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