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The Effect of Growth Stages of Hydrilla

in the Rate of Photosynthesis1


Ana Dominique S. Pablo
Kathrina Faye S. Ravago
Clarence Jim B. Rengel
Shaira M. Reyes
Group 3 Sec. UV-3L
October 2, 2012
1

A scientific paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements in General


Biology I laboratory under Ms. Ma. Fatima Carla Bertuflo, 1 st Semester, 2012-2013.
ABSTRACT
The influence of the different growth stages of Hydrilla in the rate of photosynthesis
was established using the Hydrilla Test. Four large test tubes were obtained. Equal masses
of the sprigs of the assigned growth stages of the plant were placed in the tubes. Similar
volumes of bromthymol blue solution to which carbon dioxide was introduced were
transferred to the tubes. These were then situated under an artificial light for 90 minutes.
The pH of each tube was taken every 30 minutes. The results indicated that the plant
undergoing the first principal growth stage utilized the greatest amount of carbon dioxide
in the solution based on its acidity. Thus, the hypothesis If the growth stages of Hydrilla
affect its rate of photosynthesis, then the younger the Hydrilla, the faster the rate of
photosynthesis. is accepted.
INTRODUCTION
Photosynthesis is the process that allows plants to capture the suns energy and
store it as a chemical potential energy in the covalent bonds of carbohydrate molecules
(Arms, 1994). It is an energy requiring process that stores light energy in chemical form
which can be used by the plant itself and by other organisms. This activity occurs in the
leaves of plants which contain chloroplasts. As stated by Brum (1995), chloroplasts contain
an elaborate collection of membranes in which clusters of light-absorbing pigments are
embedded. These pigments absorb solar energy which is used to transform CO 2 and water
into oxygen and energy-rich sugars. --- GROWTH STAGES --An experiment about photosynthesis was conducted inside the laboratory as a
previous exercise. It was noted that both light and chlorophyll are needed for this process
to occur. However, the growth stages of the plant were undertaken with caution in the said
exercise. This is due to the unlikely event of varying the constant factor of the experiment.
Therefore, the potential of this factor was examined in this experiment.
Generally, this study aimed to attest the effect of the growth stages of Hydrilla on
its rate of photosynthesis. Specifically, it intended to:
a. know the point of growth stage of Hydrilla that has the fastest rate of
photosynthesis.
b. display the relationship between time and the increase in the pH level of the
solution.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The Hydrilla Test was used to determine the effect of different growth stages of the
plant on the rate of photosynthesis. Four large test tubes were obtained. Sprigs of the four
different growth stages of Hydrilla were acquired. Sprigs of the same stage were measured

using a triple beam balance starting with the Principal Stage 4, the weight of which was
the standard for all of the measurements in other stages. 400 mL of bromthymol blue
solution was obtained. Bromthymol blue changes its color depending on the amount of
carbon dioxide present in a solution. When carbon dioxide is present, a color shift from
blue to yellow is observed. Otherwise, it stays blue.
One way to determine if the plant underwent photosynthesis is by the detection of
the consumption of carbon dioxide in the solution. With that, carbon dioxide was
introduced to the bromthymol blue solution by blowing into it through a straw. A color
change from blue to yellow was observed. The pH level of the solution was taken using pH
indicator strips, which are strips of paper that denote the pH level of a solution. Using a
graduated cylinder, 45 mL of the solution was placed in each of the tube. These test tubes
were then subjected to an artificial light coming from two lamps for 90 minutes. The
solution is acidic due to the incorporation of carbon dioxide in the solution. This will
become basic as the plant utilizes the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Using pH
indicator strips, the acidity of each solution were taken every thirty minutes until the
allotted time was completed. Data were then tabulated in Table 1. A line graph showing
the correlation between time and the increase of the pH level in each set-up was then
constructed and analyzed.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Table 1 shows the acidity of each set-up after being subjected to an artificial light for
90 minutes. As seen clearly, all of the set-ups started with the same acidity of pH 6.5. At
each 30-minute interval, their pH levels were taken. After the time, the results were
examined. The findings showed that Set-up 1 which contained the Hydrilla undergoing
Principal Stage 1 had the most basic pH reading among the four set-ups. This implies that
Set-up 1 utilized the greatest amount of carbon dioxide in the bromthymol blue making
the solution basic. Set-ups 2 and 3 both attained the same pH level of 8.0 while Set-up 4
arrived at a pH of 7.0. A line graph was created to show the relationship between the time
and the increase in pH levels of each set-up. Set-up 1 increased the greatest with pH 8.5,
while Set-up 4 increased the least with pH 7.0. Therefore, as time increases, the acidity of
the solution decreases. This is due to the consumption of carbon dioxide in the solution.
As for the qualitative comparison, Figure 1 shows the appearance of the set-ups at
zero minute and at 90 minutes, wherein the former shows that all of the solutions are
colored yellow designating that a large amount of carbon dioxide has not yet been utilized
by the Hydrilla while the latter shows that Set-up 1 containing the plant in the youngest
stage is close to the color blue indicating that carbon dioxide was utilized.
The Hydrilla undergoing the first stage of growth utilized the greatest amount of
carbon dioxide, followed by the second, third, and fourth stages. This implies that the
hypothesis is accepted.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
The effect of the growth stages of Hydrilla on the rate of photosynthesis was
ascertained using the Hydrilla Test. Four large test tubes were obtained. Sprigs of the
same weight that satisfied each of the different growth stages were chosen and placed
inside the test tubes. Carbon dioxide was introduced to a bromthymol blue solution and 45
mL was poured into each test tube. These were then subjected to an artificial light for 90
minutes and their pH levels were taken every thirty minutes using pH indicator strips. The
results showed that the plant undergoing Principal Stage 1, which is the youngest among
the four growth stages of Hydrilla had the most basic pH implying that it consumed the
largest amount of carbon dioxide among the four set-ups. Therefore, the hypothesis, If

the growth stages of Hydrilla affect its rate of photosynthesis, then the younger the
Hydrilla, the faster the rate of photosynthesis. is accepted.
A possible source of error is the inconsistent lighting. Two lamps were used and one
of which is brighter than the other. This would explain the same final pH levels of Set-ups 2
and 3.