Action of the enzyme Catalase

Observing the action of the enzyme Catalase

Data Collection and Processing

For this experiment, potato tubes of the same length and surface area were placed in test tubes containing different hydrogen peroxide solutions (of concentrations; 3%, 6%, 8%). At three intervals (1,2 & 4 minutes), the volume of the solution would be measured, including the foam, so as to determine the amount of oxygen given out from the reactions helping us to better understand the activity of the enzyme Catalase found on potatoes.

The results of the experiment are organised into tables in order to reach a better understanding of their experimental value. On these tables the minutes and trials are displayed but the average values of each minute as well as the rates at which these values have changed can be seen too. Every table indicates a different set of trials on each of the three different solution concentrations.

Table 1; The measurements for every of the 3 time intervals for each of the 3 trials when Hydrogen peroxide concentration was at 3%. Mean scores and rate of change are provided too.

3% H2O2

1st min

2nd min

4th min

1st trial

4,8 ml

5,8 ml

6,4 ml

2nd trial

5,3 ml

5,8 ml

6,4 ml

3rd trial

5,3 ml

5,6 ml

6,4 ml

AVERAGE

5,1 ml

5,7 ml

6,4 ml

RATE

0,6

0,7

Table 2; The measurements for every of the 3 time intervals for each of the 3 trials when Hydrogen peroxide concentration was at 6%. Mean scores and rate of change are provided too.

6% H2O2

1st min

2nd min

4th min

1st trial

5,2 ml

5,8 ml

6,8 ml

2nd trial

5,2 ml

6 ml

7 ml

3rd trial

5,3 ml

6 ml

6,9 ml

AVERAGE

5,2 ml

5,9 ml

6,9 ml

RATE

0,7

1,0

Table 3; The measurements for every of the 3 time intervals for each of the 3 trials when Hydrogen peroxide concentration was at 8%. Mean scores and rate of change are provided too.

8% H2O2

1st min

2nd min

4th min

1st trial

5,4 ml

6 ml

6,8 ml

2nd trial

5,3 ml

5,9 ml

6,8 ml

3rd trial

5,7 ml

6,6 ml

8,6 ml

AVERAGE

5,5 ml

6,2 ml

7,4 ml

RATE

0,7

1,2

Observations;

I. Foam, representing the oxygen produced from the reacting Catalase was produced, every time we added the two drops of the detergent in the solution of every trial.

II. The foam increased as the time went by, signifying the reactions that occurred in the solution.

The results of the experiment can be used to plot the following graphs which show the change in the foam, the indicator of the reactions that occur in the solution. Additionally, the last two graphs show all the average values and rates so as to offer a better understanding of the change.

Graph 1; The 3 trials for the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution

Observations;

I. The trials are very close to one another thus indicating a similar pattern as well as the existence of controlled factors that could have otherwise aversely affected the results.

II. No extreme values can be seen.

III. According to the general tendency, more foam is formed as time passes.

Graph 2; 3 trials for the 6% hydrogen peroxide solution

Observations;

I. The values are again very close to one another thus indicating a similar pattern as well as the existence of controlled factors that could have otherwise aversely affected the results.

II. No extreme values can be noted.

III. Consistency of the general tendency of the values shows that more foam is produced as time passes.

IV. Ultimately, more foam is produced that on the 3% H2O2 solution

Graph 3; 3 trials for the 8% hydrogen peroxide solution

Observations;

I. Although the first and second trials seem to be particularly similar, the third one is quite different from the rest.

II. Still, the general tendency shows an increase of foam production as time passes.

Graph 4: Mean scores of all trials for each of the solutions and time intervals

Observations;

I. All three concentrations produce more foam as time passes by

II. The foam each of the solutions produce seems to be relevant to their hydrogen peroxide concentrations

III. The 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is the one with the least foam production while the solution of 8% hydrogen peroxide is the one with the most.

Graph 5; rate of increase of foam production for each of the solutions as time passes

Observations;

I. The steeper rate of change is that of the 8% solution of hydrogen peroxide

II. The lowest rate of change is that of the 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide

III. In general, as time goes by, the foam produced increases

IV. Different rates of foam production indicate a correlation between the solution's concentration and the foam produced, as time goes by.

Conclusion And Evaluation

Cells, in their natural environment, are known to produce poisonous and often deadly for them chemicals due to their cellular functions. However, in order to survive, they have devised a way of breaking down these harmful chemicals into harmless ones. This is achieved through the production of hundreds of enzymes, each responsible for one reaction.

In this experiment, we have studied the enzyme Catalase which is responsible for the breaking down of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). From all the above, we reach the conclusion that the more hydrogen peroxide we have, the fastest the Catalase will break it down. The results drawn from the experiment performed that are illustrated above, agree to this point and therefore the experiment can be characterized reliable and valid.

Despite the measures taken to prevent potential error factors, like the verifying of the results between three participants, it is still quite possible that error has arose.

I. The potatoes were not cut by a machine and therefore it was impossible to have them all sliced at the same size.

II. All measurements taken could be open to error since we did not use any sophisticated apparatus but the human eye.

III. The portions of the solutes added might not be exactly as in the requirements of the experiment since we might have accidentally dropped more or less of the amount needed.

Improvements

I. This experiment could be improved should more advanced equipment be used for the slicing of the potato strips or the adding of solutes in the compound.

II. Additional improvements would include more precise equipment with less error.

Future work

This experiment could be expanded into researching other organisms as well, other than the potato, and for a broader range of enzymes too. Further research could be centred on how abiotic conditions affect the reaction of hydrogen peroxide such as heat, temperature, pH etc. This would result in better insights on applications of enzymes in both nature and human activity.

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