Beet Cell Damage

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emmalyy
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Beet Cell Damage

Post by emmalyy » Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:30 am

I did a lab testing different stresses on beet cells to damage the membrane. I used different concentrations of NaOH and HCl, and also did a temperature test by freezing some beet cells then putting them in water. We also put chloroform and water in a test tube and added the beet cells, and the chloroform was damaging the cell but the anthocyanin didn't diffuse into the chloroform. So of course different concentrations did more or less damage, freezing did drastically more damage than the control, but after doing this lab, what i need to know is at a molecular level what is the cause of the damage; what happened? How far along can the plant cope and then stop coping? What is shutting down so that the cell isn't functioning normally?

Emily.

emmalyy
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Post by emmalyy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:14 am

heeeeeeeellppppppppp!!

blcr11
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Post by blcr11 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:09 pm

There's at least two effects to consider. First, the acid/base treatment is likely to denature proteins and disrupt membrane integrity. Second, chloroform extraction will separate the lipids from the membrane leaving the proteins behind. But transmembrane proteins generally have very hydrophobic trans- or inter-membrane regions, so that once the lipids have been extracted, the membrane proteins tend to aggregate, as their hydrophobic regions try to exclude solvent by associating with other hydrophobic regions on anything that happens to be nearby. This usually doesn't do the protein structure much good, either. So the net effect of chloroform is to at least aggregate, if not denature, membrane proteins as it solubilizes the membrane lipids. This effect is probably independent of any acid/base effects - more or less independent, anyway.

Sorry, three factors to consider: the freeze-thaw will also denature some proteins. It's not clear to me how the experiment was designed, so I can't say much more.

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