IMAT 2019 Q32 [Permeability]

Beetroot is a root vegetable with cells that contain a red pigment. Normally the pigment cannot pass out of the cells because it cannot diffuse through their cell surface membranes. An investigation was carried out into the effect of various chemicals on the permeability of the cell surface membranes of beetroot cells.

1cm3 samples were cut from the beetroot and washed in running water for 20 minutes to remove any pigment that was released from the damaged cells.

Five experiments were carried out. In each experiment, one cube of beetroot was placed in liquid P and one cube placed in liquid Q, and the results were observed.

Which row shows the correct results and conclusions?


proteins can be denatured by change in pH, so in HCl the membrane transport proteins no longer work and the red pigment leaks out. Phospholipids have a polar component so they can dissolve in a polar solvent like ethanol.

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