0
$\begingroup$

In a lab we used distilled water + 3 drops of soap to examine how beetroot would be affected by it. I believe the beetroots membrane denatured and a red pigment leaked from it. However, I cannot explain why this has happened. Can anyone explain the topic question to me?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Detergents like soap solubilize, or dissolve, lipids. The cell, or plasma, membrane is a lipid bilayer. The detergent molecules form water-soluble micelles that contain the membrane lipids, so the membrane is completely ruptured, or gone. $\endgroup$ – mdperry Oct 19 '15 at 10:34
0
$\begingroup$

@mdperry answered well. If you need some diagrams to help with understanding, this article Should be helpful.

As you surmised, when you add detergent, it is lysing some cells of the beetroot that contain pigment. That pigment then gets released into solution. I've annotated the image below for the micelles that gets formed, except I spelled it wrong :/

enter image description here

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.