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Lab:  Factors affecting a Beet Root Membrane

Lab: Factors affecting a Beet Root Membrane


By preparing for and performing this lab, you will be able to:

  1. explain how the Fluid Mosaic model of the plasma membrane accounts for the experimental data relating to the structure of the membrane and how this model has been modified to accommodate new experimental data.
  2. demonstrate experimentally the effects of temperature, pH and organic solvents on membranes.

This unit summative lab has students exploring the effect of temperature, pH and solvent on the integrity of the beet root cell  membranes.  The first part reviews experimental design - following the Smarter Science protocol - to address the independent, dependent, controlled, negative and positive controls. Students perform the lab in teams and analyze the data in context of what they know about membrane structure and function.

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Beet Lab Preparation

This sequence generates the design steps for this lab, following the Smarter Science protocol.


Source: M. O'Mahony

Lab Procedure

This document is the procedure that students will follow to determine the effect of changing environmental conditions on the beet root membrane.


Source: M. O'Mahony

Spec 20 Instructions

This handout describes how to set up and use the Spec 20.


Source: Austin Community College/BIO 1406 Laboratory Manual 12th E./2006

Beet Root Membrane Questions

Answers to these questions will be brainstormed by the student teams, then answered individually and submitted to their shared folder in Google Drive. The rubrics and mark allotment for the questions are present in this section of the document.


Source: M. O'Mahony