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Investigating The Effect Of Temperature On Membrane Permeability Biology

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The intent of this practical is to look into the consequence that an addition in the surrounding temperature has on the selectively permeableness of a works membrane


The cell membrane is important for the cell ‘s interaction such as protection and ordinance of stuffs transition. Harmonizing to Plantcellstructures ( 2008 ) , the cell membrane consists of chiefly phospholipids, proteins and other biological molecules such as saccharides.

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Supplying structural support for the membrane, phospholipid occupies a important country in the membrane. Glycerol associating to two fatty acids and one phosphate group makes a phospholipid ( Losos, Manson & A ; Singer, 2008a ) .

The phosphate proportion group is more polar and hence H2O loving while the fatty acids hate H2O. This consequences in phospholipid spontaneously organizing a bilayer when it meets H2O ( Losos, Manson & A ; Singer, 2008a ) . The hydrophilic caputs are closer to H2O while the hydrophobic dress suits will be off from H2O ( Web-book, n.d. ) . Due to this belongings, hydrophobic stuff such as polar ions will be unable to traverse the phospholipid.

Therefore, phospholipid is an of import barrier to polar molecules transport through the membrane. Harmonizing to Zona Land ( 2006 ) , temperature in Kelvin is relative to kinetic energy. Therefore, if the environing temperature additions, the kinetic energy of molecules additions every bit good. This leads to increased gesture of phospholipids, ensuing in greater permeableness.

Protein maps chiefly as transporter, receptor and enzyme in the membrane ( Rsc, 2010a ) . Playing a critical function in inactive conveyance, proteins assist polar stuffs to acquire in and out of the cell. Passive conveyance, without the demand for the cell to use energy, is normally carried out as diffusion ( Farabee, 2007 ) . Diffusion is the inclination of substance traveling from a high concentration to a low concentration ( Gregory, n.d. ) . The concentration gradient has been believed to be the chief drive force of conveyance through membrane, stated Bariyanga ( 2008 ) . In inactive conveyance, proteins act as aqueous channels for polar atoms. This is because charged ions have mutual opposition, which interacts with H2O easy ( Losos, Manson & A ; Singer, 2008c ) . Proteins besides act as bearers that bind to peculiar molecules to assist them traverse the membrane ( Losos, Manson & A ; Singer, 2008c ) . This is called facilitated diffusion. Due to the of import function protein plays in conveyance, one time the construction of protein is affected, the map of protein is lost. There are indispensable forces within the protein construction that hold it stable, including H bonds and ionic bonds ( Rsc, 2010b ) . Harmonizing to Lane ( 2009a ) , boiling point is a great index for forces, because at this point all interactions are broken. Since H bonding is the chief force within protein constructions, temperature alteration will impact the construction of proteins, or denature them, by interrupting H bonds. Therefore, an addition in temperature can denature proteins and do polar molecules move in or out of the cell freely.

Inside the ruddy chou foliage there are anthocyanins, pigments that are responsible for light absorbing and ruddy or violet coloring material of foliages ( Horbowicz, et Al, 2008 ) . They exist in the cell sap of cuticle and mesophyll cells ( Lane, 2009b ) . Anthocyanins solution is frequently used as an index since it will turn ruddy when meets acid while appear purple in H2O ( Helmenstein, n.d. ) . Since anthocyanins are polar molecules, they get in and out of the cell through ion channels or by facilitated diffusion ( Commandini, et Al, 2008 ) . Therefore, one time proteins are affected by temperature alteration, the anthocyanins inside the ruddy chou cells will leak out.

Another sort of inactive conveyance is osmosis. Harmonizing to Bailey ( n.d. ) , osmosis is the diffusion of H2O from low solute concentrated to high solute concentrated side. It will non halt until the equilibrium of concentration is reached. Plant cells are non likely to tear even its maximal volume is reached during osmosis. The bombastic cell wall has the ability to halt osmosis by lifting up osmotic force per unit area of the cell ( Purchon, 2006 ) , the force required to unable osmosis to go on ( Losos, Manson and Singer, 2008e ) . The cell wall is freely permeable ( Rsc, 2010a ) . Therefore, it is non a factor affected by temperature in footings of permeableness. However, temperature can speed up osmosis by increasing kinetic energy.

It is possible that an addition in temperature will take to an addition in permeableness of the membrane by lifting up kinetic energy and denaturing proteins


Materials needed for this experiment: 7 trial tubings, trial tubing rack, medium size cork bore bit, little beakers, mounted needle, big beaker, thermometer, intoxicant burner, tripod, gauze, step cylinder, tongs and ruddy chou leaves.

The experiment was conducted following these stairss modified from Land ( 2010b )

42 phonograph record of fresh ruddy chou foliage were cut utilizing a medium size cork bore bit. Every 6 phonograph records were put in a little beaker and washed under a running pat for 5 proceedingss.

7 trial tubings were labelled as 30a„? , 40a„? , 50a„? , 60a„? , 70, a„? 80a„? , 90a„? . Approximately 6 cm3 of cold H2O was added to each tubing, utilizing step cylinder.

Using a big beaker, a tripod, a piece of gauze and a Bunsen burner, H2O bath was prepared. The H2O in the beaker was heated to 30a„? and the burner was removed.

6 ruddy chou phonograph record were impaled on the mounted acerate leaf with infinite between each phonograph record. The acerate leaf was put in the H2O bath for precisely 1 minute. The phonograph record were pushed off, utilizing tongs, and dropped into the trial tubing labelled 30a„? .

The H2O bath was heated to 40a„? and gently and 6 more phonograph records were placed on to the acerate leaf. These phonograph records were put into the H2O bath for 1 minute, so the phonograph record were pushed off into the trial tubing labelled 40a„? .

The process was repeated for the other 4 tubings. The phonograph record were left for 20 proceedingss.

Finally, the tubings were shaken and placed on the trial tubing rack. The tubings were held to the visible radiation and observed.


Table 1 below shows the consequence of this experiment while Figure 2 ( Wu, 2010 ) shows the concluding observation.

Temperature of Tube/a„?

Solution Change

Red Cabbage Discs Change


Remained clear

Remained thin and violet


Remained clear

As above


Remained clear

Changed from thin to thick.

Remained purple.


Remained clear

As above


Changed from clear to light blue

( most apparent )

No evident size alteration, but the cuticles changed from purple to transparent. White phonograph record with light purple remained.


Changed from clear to light blue

As above


Changed from clear to light blue

( the lightest )

As above

Table 1 The Effect of Temperature on Red Cabbage Discs

Figure 2 The Effect of Temperature on Red Cabbage Discs ( Wu, 2010 )


The consequence of this practical shows the influence of temperature on permeableness. As it suggests, there are chiefly three visual aspects.

There was about no obvious alteration of ruddy chou phonograph record at 30a„? and 40a„? . The temperature was still excessively low to hold a important consequence on constituents of the cell membrane.

Then, at 50a„? and 60a„? , the phonograph record swelled, which indicates H2O had got in the cells. This is due to the addition in temperature. As Zona Land ( 2006 ) suggested, molecules would vibrate or travel more often and violently with the addition of kinetic energy as temperature arise. Water has a bigger opportunity to acquire in or out of the cell, following the concentration gradient. As Purchon ( 2006 ) stated, works cells will non tear due to the being of cell wall. Hence, because the equilibrium of concentration was reached, the volume of each cell increased and the whole phonograph record became bigger in size and thicker.

Finally, the violet coloring material of ruddy chou phonograph record was gone, ensuing in a color alteration of the solution. This indicates the cell membrane about became freely permeable at over 70a„? . The anthocyanins had come out of the cells and dissolved in the solution. The leak of anthocyanins is grounds that proteins constructions had changed. Proteins control anthocyanin acquiring in and out of the cell. Heat can alter the construction of protein by interrupting H bonds ( Lane, 2009a ) . During the experiment, one time the temperature of protein was reached, proteins vibrated and their H bonds were broken, denaturing proteins to work as bearers or channels for anthocyanin. Therefore, due to low concentration outside but high inside the cell, anthocyanin moved into the H2O solution outside and dissolved in it. The consequence besides suggests that there were some violet coloring material staying in the phonograph record. There might be two possible grounds. One is the maximal sum was reached, or non all cell membranes were destroyed and some anthocyanins remained inside the cells. In add-on, in 70a„? , 80a„? , 90a„? tubings, there was no size alteration of the phonograph record. Although the cell wall does forestall the cell from rupture, the membrane construction of the cell might be wholly destroyed by high temperature, as with the vacuole membrane ( Purchon, 2006 ) . Hence the H2O that went in the cell antecedently might hold passed out once more. As a consequence, the cell became freely permeable. Besides, anthocyanin was non concentrated plenty within such a big sum of H2O. Therefore, the solutions appeared to be light blue.

Mistakes that have taken topographic point during this experiment might act upon the consequence. First of wholly, step cylinder was used to mensurate the sum of H2O being poured into the 7 tubings. There would non be precisely the right sum of H2O being poured into the tubings due to the H2O residue in the cylinder. Therefore, the sum of H2O in each tubing was non equal, ensuing in different concentrations of coloring material. Another factor that was missed during the experiment is the accurate control of temperature and clip. The ruddy chou phonograph record being placed under a running H2O pat were non remaining for precisely 5 proceedingss. Temperature was non accurately reached during this experiment as required, ensuing in lower or higher temperature impacting the membrane permeableness. Some of them had a longer or shorter delay clip.

For future experiment, more comprehensive readying should be done. Initially, precise measuring equipment such as calibrated pipette should be used. Then, precise control of temperature should be done for accurate recording temperature. Third, exact timing should be carried out by utilizing a timer or ticker.


An addition in temperature will impact the permeableness of the cell membrane. Low environing temperature such as 30a„? and 40a„? does non hold a important consequence on permeableness. At 50a„? and 60a„? , permeableness starts to increase piece at over 70a„? the cell membrane becomes freely permeable due to protein construction devastation. Meanwhile, harmonizing to the consequence of this experiment, the temperature to denature the map of protein is about at 70a„? .

Cite this Investigating The Effect Of Temperature On Membrane Permeability Biology

Investigating The Effect Of Temperature On Membrane Permeability Biology. (2017, Jul 19). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/investigating-the-effect-of-temperature-on-membrane-permeability-biology-essay/

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