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Sarthak Patel

Biol 1108
Section 001
Lab Report 1: Photosynthesis Lab
Effect of ______ on ___ and
Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important biochemical life processes that
involve a series of catalytic reactions. Photoautotrophs are able to convert of inorganic carbon
dioxide to organic, high-energy glucose using light energy in their chloroplasts (EEB dept.
2014). In comparison cellular respiration happens in the cytoplasm of bacteria and in the
mitochondria of eukaryotic cells where high energy glucose is broken down in order to capture
energy as ATP molecules.
This experiment will seek to examine rate of photosynthesis and respiration in a spinach leaf
tissue using leaf disks. We predict that under light conditions, the leaf discs will display
photosynthesis and under dark conditions the leaf discs will show cellular respiration. In
addition, we hypothesize that if the lighting apparatus is moved farther away from the leaf discs
then the rate of photosynthesis will be observably slower.
-- what is biological reason?
Light Energy

6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 + 6O2

Cellular Respiration
C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + ATP

Materials and Methods:

Spinach leaves were punched out in order to create leaf discs that were initially placed in
a syringe barrel with the plunger removed. The plunger was replaced and slowly pushed towards
the tip in order to remove air after which 3 cc of 0.2% bicarbonate/detergent solution was added
to the syringe as a CO2 source for the leaf discs. A vacuum was created inside the syringe and the
discs were allowed to sink and then poured into a plastic cup containing bicarbonate solution.
The cup with the discs was placed under a light source and the number of disks floating at the
surface was recorded every minute until all discs are floating. As photosynthesis occurs in the
presence of CO2 and light, oxygen will be produced and discs will expand and rise. After all discs
have risen the cup will be placed in a dark cabinet, and the rate at which the leaf discs sink will
be used to measure cellular respiration. In the control experiment, the plastic cup consisted of
distilled water in order to represent the absence of CO2 and the rate of photosynthesis was
measured. In addition, a second experiment was performed where the lighting apparatus was
heightened and placed farther away from the leaf discs and the effect on the rate of
photosynthesis was analyzed.


Figure 1. Observed floating discs out of 15 in the presence and absence of light.

Figure 2. Observed floating discs out of 19 in distilled water and a heightened light source.

Module 1: The Abosrpiton Spectra of Plant Pigments

Module 3: Floating Leaf Disk Assay

References: need 2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut. Biology 1108
Laboratory Manual, 2014 edition, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.