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Plant Pigments & Absorption Lab
SBI4U Metabolic Processes Lab 1

Kevin Salwach
P.1 Rm. 208 De Cat
November 5 2013
Lab 1 Pigments & Absorption
Introduction
Autotrophs, a group of organisms to which plants belong, obtain their own food and energy through ways other than hunting and ingestion. Almost all plants use photosynthesis to obtain their energy. Using the CO2 in the air that surrounds them, plants can create the energy needed to survive. The process is split into two parts; the “light” reactions occur by using light from the sun to activate electrons in the photosystem to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the main requirement for metabolism. After this has occurred, the “dark” reactions occur where ATP is reduced to
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The main liquid constituent of cytoplasm is cytosol or cytoplasmic matrix. Although it is not fully understood, it is believed that cytosol flows around the cell with the help of special proteins acting as motors. The purpose of this cytoplasmic streaming is to deliver nutrients, proteins, organelles, genetic material and other molecules to parts of the cell where they are needed.
Part B
How many pigments are present on your chromatogram? Why do plants have more than one?
There 5 observed pigments present on our chromatogram. The reason that a plant has more than one type of pigment is the broad spectrum of solar light. Although it comprises only a small sliver of the electromagnetic spectrum, sunlight still contains a fair amount of different light. Stretching from violet to red, the spectra of sunlight covers about 370 nm. Because it is a wide spectrum it is exceedingly difficult for a single pigment to cover and absorb all of the light. As a result, a plant contains many different pigments, so it can maximize its absorption of light and collect it across varying wavelengths, as opposed to being confined to a single one. Pigments such as chlorophyll absorb red light and reflect green, while other pigments such as carotenoids do the opposite.
Can You Explain, based on chemical structure and what you know about chromatographic separation, the relative positions (distances migrated) if your

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