The Effect of Different Concentrations of Sucrose Solutions in Potato Cells

The Effect of Different Concentrations of Sucrose Solutions in Potato Cells

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The Effect of Different Concentrations of Sucrose Solutions in Potato Cells


Prediction:

I predict that the potato cylinder that is immersed in distilled water
will increase in size the most out of all the potato cylinders. I
think this because, in this solution there will 10ml of pure water,
no sucrose, which means the potato can absorb the most possible water
through osmosis, there are no molecules that can‘t be absorbed.
Whereas in the other solutions, the sugar molecules won’t be able to
travel through the potato’s membrane because it is semi permeable so
through osmosis, only water molecules can diffuse from the higher
concentration outside the potato to the lower concentration inside the
potato.

Method:

I will prepare 5 identical potato cylinders each measuring 2cm and 5
test tubes filled with different strengths of sucrose solution. One
will contain distilled water, the next will contain 0.2 of sucrose
solution, the third will contain 0.4 of sucrose solution, the fourth
will contain 0.6 and the fifth test tube will contain 0.8 of sucrose
solution. Each cylinder will hold 10ml of the solution (but obviously
each will be of a different concentration). I will put one potato
cylinder into each test tube and leave them in there for 30 minutes.
After this time, I will remove the potato cylinders from the test tube
and measure each one to record any changes in size or shape. I will
repeat the process 3 times in total to ensure a fair test. At the end
once I’ve recorded all my results I will work out an average for each
concentration and plot my results on a graph to compare.

Equipment:

* 15 test tubes in total to contain the potato cylinders in the
different solutions for each test. I have chosen test tubes rather
than say, beakers because they are most practical and economical
by ensuring the potato cylinder is completely immersed in the
solution, not having to waste any solution as may be the case with

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beakers.

* 2 potatoes to collect the 15 potato cylinders from.

* 1 cork borer to create the cylindrical shape of the potato to go
in the test tube.

* 1 sharp knife the cut the potato cylinders to identical lengths.

* 1 white tile to cut the potatoes on.

* 1 test tube rack to hold all the test tubes.

* 1 stop watch to time how long the potato cylinders are in the
solutions for.

* 1 ruler to measure the changes in length of the potato cylinders.

* 1 measuring cylinder/pipette to measure out 10cm of the solution
each time.

* 30ml of each concentration of the 5 different sucrose solutions.

Possible Variables:

These are the possible factors that I could change, which would affect
the results of the experiment:

Time: the longer the potato cylinders are left in the solutions, the
more or less they could decrease/increase in size dependent on the
solution they are in.

Temperature: is known to affect the rate of reactions and it would
also affect the results in this experiment because if the temperature
is hotter, osmosis would happen more quickly because the particles
would have more energy to move around; meaning the potato cylinder
would increase more in size.

Solution volume: Obviously if there is more of one solution, there is
more water in this case to travel through the semi-permeable membrane
of the potato, so it would increase in size more.

The potato cylinders: If the sizes of the cylinders are different, the
surface area of the potato membranes would be different so some could
absorb through osmosis more or less of the solution.

Concentration of solution: the more sucrose in a solution, the less
water there is to be absorbed, so in my prediction, the less increase
in size.

The only factor I will be changing is the solution concentration.
Therefore it is vital that all the other possible variables are kept
the same.

Results:

Concentration of glucose

Original size (cm)

Result 1(cm)

Result 2 (cm)

Result 3 (cm)

Average (cm)

Distilled water

2

2

2.1

2.1

2.06

0.2

2

2

2.1

2

2.03

0.4

2

2

2

2

2

0.6

2

1.9

1.9

2

1.93

0.8

2

1.9

1.9

1.8

1.86

See final page for graph of results.

Conclusion:

I can see that my prediction was in fact correct; the potato in
distilled water increased the most in size and became the most turgid
for the reasons explained in my prediction – if there is more water
which can pass through the potato’s semi-permeable membrane; the
potato will consequently increase more in size than a potato cylinder
in a stronger concentrated sucrose solution because in such a solution
there are more molecules which cannot pass through the semi-permeable
membrane and less water.

Evaluation:

I am very happy with the way my experiment turned out, the results
were typical of my prediction and there were no significant anomalies.

I kept to my method and did as much as I could within my control to
keep the variables (time, temperature – as far as I could control it;
solution volume and potato cylinder size) the same. I was as exact as
possible with the timing and made sure I removed all the potato chips
after 30 minutes; I measured all the solutions exactly as well as the
potato cylinders.

Other than temperature, the one factor I think could have been more
exact was timing, because after the 30 minutes, it was difficult to
remove all 5 potato chips at the exact same time – the last chip I
removed would obviously have been in the solution for a bit longer
than the first I removed. However this would have only been a very
slight difference in time and is unlikely to have affected the results
significantly.

If I was to do the experiment again, I think I would use potato
cylinders of 3cm in length, not 2 and leave them immersed in the
solutions for a bit longer, possibly 35 minutes. This would allow more
time for osmosis to take place and hopefully produce more
differentiated results, because the differences in this experiment’s
results were only very slight – about 0.1cm
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