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LS 2 Photosynthesis Final report

LS 2 Photosynthesis Final report - Makoto Eo(403-840-083...

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Makoto Eo (403-840-083) Abdallah Abed (803697484) Sameer Patel (003-649-425) Life Sciences 2 Section 2G Michelle Kim 01.26.10 The Pigments of Photosynthesis Introduction Photosynthesis is the metabolic process that plants use to trap solar energy and store it as chemical energy in the bond of organic molecules. All the living organisms need energy to sustain their own being and photosynthesis allows them to do so. Overall, photosynthesis uses six carbon dioxide molecules and twelve molecules of water along with sunlight to produce one molecule of glucose, six water and six oxygen molecules. In photosynthesis, certain molecules called pigments absorb specific wavelengths of light and facilitate the process of producing energy. These light-absorbing pigments fall into three classes: a) chlorophylls, b) carotenoids, and c) phycobilins. The chlorophylls are the primary pigments that convert the energy to useful ones, while carotenoids and phycobilins function as accessory pigments that absorb different wavelengths of light and pass the energy to the chlorophylls so that the energy absorbed can be converted into useful ones. Our objectives in our experiments are to examine how environmental conditions affect the pigment composition of barley and how the evolutionary history of an organism affects its pigment composition. In experiment 1, we determined the environmental effect on pigment composition using light and dark grown barley to see how sun- light affects their pigment composition. Our null hypothesis states that dark-grown barley and light-grown barley will have same number of pigments because sunlight exposure does not affect pigment composition of barleys. However, we expect that light-grown barley will have more pigments than dark-grown barley because of light-grown barley’s exposure to sunlight.
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The second experiment compares the pigment composition of four photosynthesizers – red algae, green algae, brown algae, and cyanobacteria – to investigate which photosynthesizer shares the most evolutionary history with barley. Our hypothesis for the second experiment claims that evolutionary history of an organism affects its photosynthetic pigment composition. If true, this would reject the null hypothesis that all plants are distinct in their composition, and similar evolutionary history does not have any effect on their pigment composition. Materials and Methods In both experiments, we proceed in two steps, using different techniques: thin layer chromatography (TLC) and spectrophotometry. TLC is a technique for separating organic compounds by dissolving the sample in a non-polar solvent and spotting it on a silica plate, while spectrophotometry allows measurement of the absorption spectrum of the extracted pigments for the polar pigments extracted by phosphate buffer.
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