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TAMU BIOL 111 - Photosynthesis Lab Summary

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Photosynthesis Lab SummaryThis week’s experiments were done to observe the effects of various factors on photosynthesis and motility of Chlamydomonas, a single-celled algae responsible for converting light and chemical energy into kinetic energy. The factors were wavelength of light for experiment one in which ten spinach disks each were placed five beakers containing a sodium bicarbonate solution which would deplete the spinach disks of oxygen, causing them to sink to the bottom of their respective beakers. The beakers were each placed into an assigned light box. The colors used were red, green, and blue. White and dark light were used as the controls white light is a combination of all colors of light, therefore lacks a specific wavelength; and black light is the absence of visible light, meaning that is also lacks a specific wavelength. This experiment determined that red light was the most effective for promoting photosynthesis, while green light was the least effective. The second experiment was done to determine the effect of metabolic poisons, sodium azide and DCMU, on the ability of Chlamydomonas to convert light and chemical energy into kinetic energy. It was hypothesized that DCMU affects the motility of the Chlamydomonas more than if left untreated, but not as much as sodium azide. In the untreated sample, the green coloration was mostly dissipated in the allotted thirty minutes, this demonstrated that the Chlamydomonas were still motile, and since the sample was untreated, photosynthesis still occurred. In the DCMU sample however, photosynthesis did not occur as DCMU is a photosynthesis inhibitor that cuts energy supply. Despite photosynthesis not occurring, the Chlamydomonas were still motile. This was observed due to the obvious change in coloration of the sample. The green had mostly dissipated under direct light showing that the Chlamydomonas had migrated from that spot. In the sodium azide solution, the Chlamydomonas were not motile. This conclusion was reach because the green coloration in the solution was still dispersed, showing no sign of movement from the Chlamydomonas. Despite a lack of motility, photosynthesis still occurred due to sodium azide being a cellular respiration inhibitor instead of a photosynthesis inhibitor like DCMU. After observing these results, it is clear the results supportthe hypothesis and the experiment was a


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