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Name: Leon Hunt
Status: student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2003


Question:
I am doing a lab for my biology class on photosynthesis. The two pigments we are using are Geranium and Coleus. When we shine the two samples against a bright white light, apparently they produce different colours in the flasks. One appears to be bright red while the other is somewhat different. Why is this so in terms of the physical nature of colour pigments?

I am also confused at how these pigments are made. In my own knowledge, I believe there must involve some Ethanol & Acetone after the leaves are grinded up. But I really want a precise method because I am very interested. I appreciate it very much.


Replies:
Geranium and coleus are common names of two plants. The pigments color the leaves differently (green from chlorophyll, red from anthocyanins, etc.) Ethanol and acetone are used to extract the pigments from the leaves. The following should be helpful.

http://scidiv.bcc.ctc.edu/rkr/Biology201/labs/pdfs/Photosynthesis201.pdf

http://scidiv.bcc.ctc.edu/rkr/Biology201/labs/pdfs/AbsorptionSpectra201.pdf

http://newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bot00/bot00064.htm

Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.



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