Effect of Stress on Beet Cells

The Effect of Temperature on Beet Cell Membranes Introduction In this lab, we are going to learn how the stress of temperature affects fresh beets. We have come to learn that cell membranes organize the chemical activities of cells. All cells are made of plasma membranes, often called fluid mosaics. It is sometimes described as a mosaic because it is made of protein molecules that are embedded into phospholipids. Phospholipids are the main structural support of the membrane and the proteins perform most of the functions of a membrane.
Together they form boundaries or barriers between the cell itself and its surroundings, like the membrane of an egg. Plasma membranes also control what substances come in and out and also dispose of the cells waste. The membrane itself is composed primarily of phospholipids. Phospholipid molecules have two parts and form a sheet that has two layers, called a bi-layer. They are made up of two fatty acids which make up the tail end and the head is phosphate group.
The head of this molecule is hydrophobic, which mean it is attracted to water and their tail is hydrophobic which means they dislike water. Together they form a bobby-pinned shaped barrier. Listed below is my hypothesis for this experiment. I hypothesize that tube 1 at 70° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 10. I hypothesize that tube 2 at 55° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 8. I hypothesize that tube 3 at 40° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 6. I hypothesize that tube 4 at 22° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 0.

I hypothesize that tube 5 at 5° c the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 8. I hypothesize that tube 6 at -5° the color intensity of leaked betacyanin will be 10. Method The first thing that I did was label each test tube with numbers 1-6 and listed each corresponding temperature on the label. I cut six pieces of beet in the measurements that were given and rinsed them under tap water for 2 minutes. I then patted them with a paper towel to get off the excess water. I kept the pieces of beet in the paper towel while I got the other items ready.
For the cold treatment I put one piece of beet in each beaker (5 and 6) and put tube 5 in the refrigerator and tube 6 in the freezer. I left them in there for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I covered each one with the same amount of tap water and let them soak for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I took each beet out of the test tube, threw the beet away, but saved the colored water so I could chart later. For the room temperature and hot treatments I put each piece of beet into its marked test tube. For tube 1 (70°c), I had to simmer water to get it to the correct temperature.
I put the piece of beat into the beaker of water and waited one minute, I took it out and put it in beaker one, covered it with room temperature water and waited 20 minutes. Beet 2, 3 and 4 were all conducted the same way. I put the correct temperature of water into the beaker, let the beat soak for one minute, took the beet out of the beaker and covered with tap water in the test tube for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I discarded all the beets so I could record my findings with the colored water that was left behind. Results:
From doing this experiment I found that the more stressful environments you subject an item to the differently they act. It is cause and reaction. In tube number one the color intensity leak was at a ten, the highest number on the chart. I found that the heat seemed to open the pores of the beet to let the dye permeate the water. In tube 2 the color was at a 7. The water was still warm enough to allow the dye molecules to pass through the membrane. In tube 3, the water was at 40. This is still warm but not the color was not nearly as intense as the previous tube.
The next tube charted was tube number 4. The beet was subjected to a temperature of only 22°c. That temperature I would chart as “room temperature”. I found that the least amount of dye was leaked from the beet. For the cold methods I concluded that the amount of betacyanin that escaped from the cell membrane was intense, like the hot treatment results. I concluded that it didn’t have to be hot temperature stress to release betacyanin. Tube number 5 was placed into the refrigerator and the level of dye that permeated the water was charted at a 6.
Tube 6 was placed in the freezer and was documented at a level of color intensity of a ten. Also, when the tube was pulled from the freezer the specimen has noticeably changed. It has a slight white, almost white frost or texture to it. Please see attachment and table below. Test Tube numberTreatment °CColor Intensity (0 – 10) 170 10 255 7 340 5 422 1 55 6 6-5 10 Discussion I believe the result came out the way they did because of level of stress I put the beet through. When damage is done to a cell membrane it affects the entire vegetable.
When the beet was put in such hot temperatures the cell membrane started to break down and leak the pigment through the cell wall, since the cell is semi-permeable. Like we spoke about in our text book, the cell membrane lets small molecules to pass through. When the beet was heated to 70°c or cooled to -5°c it was subjected to much more stress that at a normal room temperature, which the beet is grown and stored at. The various temperatures make the beet release its pigments. The extreme hot and cold acted as energy for the beet to release the red dye.
The structures need to have a stable environment in order to establish their structure. My hypotheses were correct, for the most part. My numbers were not exact, but I had the general idea of what I thought would happen. I thought that the more stress you put on to a beet the great amount of pigment you would receive out of it. I figured that beets were stored at room temperature so if you put them in water that was the same temperature as the room it wouldn’t cause stress on the membrane, hence the least amount of pigment leakage. I was surprised at the amount of pigment that came from the beet.
When I first cut the beet the pigment was all over the cutting board and the knife, not to mention by hands. Accuracy is key. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we strive to do things perfectly sometimes there are variables that can affect how the results are derived. In my experiment, I tried to cut each beet with precision. It is almost impossible to cut each beet the exact same and this could have slightly affected how my beets reacted to each session. The larger the surface of the beet the more pigment the beet has in it to release. Another variable could also be the freshness of the beets.
My beets where purchased 1200 kilometers and two countries away from where I did the experiment and weren’t extremely firm like they should be. After doing research, I found that the older the beet is the more pigment it has. That could give me not as true of a reading. The last variable I could have experienced was the temperature of the room. The day the experiment was held it was 1°c outside , so the heater was running full speed all day. I think the experiment could have had more true results if the room was at a more normal temperature.
I think while doing the experiment the beets could have dried out slightly from the air in the house being so warm. When working with patients you need to understand the symptoms they have in order to help them. Let’s say I had a man with cancer come into the hospital and I was in charge of monitoring his pain level. If the man was on two different pain medications I would need to know how the two medications worked with each other in order to successfully help him. I would have to know how Morphine worked with Aspirin or how Motrin interacted with Tylenol.
Having done this experiment, it has helped me understand how there is cause and effect to everything that we do on a daily basis. If I gave the man 10 cc’s of Motrin I can give him a Fentanyl lozenge later in the day if he is still in pain. That way I keep the side effects, such as nausea, to a minimum without overdoing the amount of morphine I give him. Also doing this experiment has given me the faith in myself to know that I can take action and do experiments, charting, researching and investigation if I want to know why something happens the way it does.

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