CIE IGCSE Biology: 复习笔记:6.1.5 Investigating the Need for Chlorophyll, Light & Carbon Dioxide

CIE IGCSE Biology: 复习笔记:6.1.5 Investigating the Need for Chlorophyll, Light & Carbon Dioxide

Investigating the Need for Chlorophyll

  • Although plants make glucose in photosynthesis, leaves cannot be tested for its presence as the glucose is quickly used, converted into other substances and transported or stored as starch.
  • Starch is stored in chloroplasts where photosynthesis occurs so testing a leaf for starch is a reliable indicator of which parts of the leaf are photosynthesising.
  • Leaves can be tested for starch using the following procedure:
    • A leaf is dropped in boiling water to kill the cells and break down the cell membranes
    • The leaf is left for 5-10 minutes in hot ethanol in a boiling tube. This removes the chlorophyll so colour changes from iodine can be seen more clearly
    • The leaf is dipped in boiling water to soften it
    • The leaf is spread out on a white tile and covered with iodine solution
    • In a green leaf, the entire leaf will turn blue-black as photosynthesis is occuring in all areas of the leaf
    • This method can also be used to test whether chlorophyll is needed for photosynthesis by using a variegated leaf (one that is partially green and partially white)
    • The white areas of the leaf contain no chlorophyll and when the leaf is tested only the areas that contain chlorophyll stain blue-black
    • The areas that had no chlorophyll remain orange-brown as no photosynthesis is occurring here and so no starch is stored




Testing a variegated leaf for starch

  • Care must be taken when carrying out this practical as ethanol is extremely flammable, so at that stage of the experiment the Bunsen burner should be turned off.
  • The safest way to heat the ethanol is in an electric water bath rather than using a beaker over a Bunsen burner with an open flame

Investigating the Need for Light

  • The same procedure as above can be used to investigate if light is needed for photosynthesis
  • Before starting the experiment the plant needs to be destarched by placing in a dark cupboard for 24 hours
  • This ensures that any starch already present in the leaves will be used up and will not affect the results of the experiment
  • Following destarching, a leaf of the plant can be partially covered with aluminium foil and the plant placed in sunlight for a day
  • The leaf can then be removed and tested for starch using iodine
  • The area of the leaf that was covered with aluminium foil will remain orange-brown as it did not receive any sunlight and could not photosynthesise, while the area exposed to sunlight will turn blue-black
  • This proves that light is necessary for photosynthesis and the production of starch

Investigating the Need for Carbon Dioxide

  • Destarch two plants by placing in the dark for a prolonged period of time
  • Place one plant in a bell jar which contains a beaker of sodium hydroxide (which will absorb carbon dioxide from the surrounding air)
  • Place the other plant in a bell har which contains a beaker of water (control experiment), which will not absorb carbon dioxide from the surrounding air
  • Place both plants in bright light for several hours
  • Test both plants for starch using iodine
  • The leaf from the plant placed near sodium hydroxide will remain orange-brown as it could not photosynthesise due to lack of carbon dioxide
  • The leaf from the plant placed near water should turn blue-black as it had all necessary requirements for photosynthesis

An example setup for an experiment to test whether carbon dioxide is necessary for photosynthesis in plants.

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