In this lab we will observe the rate of photosynthesis in bean plant leaves. The overall equation for photosynthesis is 6CO2 + 12H2O -> C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O. As this equation demonstrates, during photosynthesis plants take in water and carbon dioxide and with the help of light convert these reactants to glucose, a plants source of energy. During this process water and oxygen gas are also produced as byproducts. So in this experiment we will attempt to control one of the variables that effects photosynthesis and observe the outcome. We know that the presence of light and carbon dioxide both dictate the rate of this reaction (1). So we will place two leaves in chambers with oxygen sensors to observe the rate of reaction. We will input carbon dioxide and light to start the process. Our hypothesis is that filtering the light that reaches the leaf will affect the rate of photosynthesis. We will let one leaf photosynthesize in natural light and the other?s light we will filter through a blue light filter. Our prediction for the experiment is that the rate of photosynthesis of the second leaf will be lower than that of the unfiltered leaf.
After calibrating the computer program and making sure it is functioning correctly, seal the leaf inside the leaf chamber in such a way that no portion of the leaf is shaded by the O2 sensor of the gas inlet and outlet ports (holes in the chamber surfaces that are connected to the gas bag or stoppered).Close and seal the chamber by turning the thumb-screws until they are finger tight.Place the blue colored plastic sheet over the chamber and position the plastic Petri dish on top of it so that it covers the majority of the leaf surface.Fill the petri dish with water.Click start on the program and make sure that the initial concentration of O2 is about 20.7% and the initial photon flux is close to zero.Click on the START button displayed on the computer screen.

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