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Photosynthesis Lab Experiment

Group Members:
June, Thanatcha Jantanapongpun
Phrare, Bhudharhita Teinwan
Kam, Pitiporn Prachayamongkol
Gam, Nichanan Suteeduangsamorn
May, 7 2015

Plant is an autotroph, organisms that can produce food for their own without
depending on others. Plant can made their own food by photosynthesis. As we learn from
photosynthesis, photosynthesis is the process of converting solar energy to chemical
energy(sugars) which occurs at the mesophyll tissue, especially in the choloroplast of the cell.
There are three raw materials that is required for photosynthesis. First, CarbonDioxide
which enters through stomata. Second, water which enters the plant by the absorption of the
roots called Capillary action. Last, sunlight energy which there will be a pigment in the plant
that would absorb the solar energy such as chlorophyll. In this experiment, we will
emphasize with stomata. Stomata is the tiny opening of the leaf that is used for gas exchange
in photosynthesis. As from above, Carbon Dioxide enters the plant via stomata and was
transferred to mesophyll tissue, then lastly enters the cell into the chloroplast organelle to
make photosynthesis occurs. There are two phases of photosynthesis; light-dependent
reaction and light-independent reaction. Carbon Dioxide is required as a raw material for the
Calvin cycle (light-independent reaction). On the other hand, the byproduct of lightdependent reaction is Oxygen, which will released via stomata and we breathe those.
There are many factors that afftect the rate of photosynthesis; light, temperature,
amount of Carbon Dioxide, chlorophyll concentration, water, and pollution. As these thing
changes, the rate of photosynthesis will also change. In this experiment, we are going to test
whether the light is one of the factors that affect the rate of photosynthesis by measuring the
rate of photosynthesis by the different distance from the light source. The rate of
photosynthesis will be measured by counting the bubbles of Oxygen that was released via the
stomata of Elodea cutting. Will the light really affects the rate of photosynthesis? Or does the
Soduim Bicarbonate affect the rate of the bubble. Lets find out the answer in this experiment.
The purpose of this experiment is to understands the photosynthesis occuring within
plants which the distance of light from plant affects the rate of oxygen production and also if
the rate does changes after increasing the amount of Carbon Dioxide by adding Sodium
If the plant is closer to the light, then the rate of Oxygen bubbles will increase.

Test Tube
Elodea cuttings
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
Beaker with water

1. Obtain beaker, test tube, Elodea cutting, Sodium Bicarbonate and Lamp
2. Fill water halfway the beaker
3. Place the Elodea cutting inside the test tube
4. Fill water in the test tube
5. Place the test tube in the beaker (opening facing upwards)
6. Place the beaker in front of the lamp, starting from 10cm.
7. With the total of 5 minutes, count the number of Oxygen bubbles we observe per
8. Repeat the same process for distance of 15cm., 20cm. and 30cm.
9. Average rate of bubble per minutes
10. Put small amount of baking soda into test tube. Count the bubbles for 5 minutes.

Data table

1st min

2nd min

3rd min

4th min

5th min


10 cm.







15 cm.







20 cm.







25 cm.







10 cm. with baking soda







Analysing question:
1. Calculate the rate of photosynthesis for 1 day for each distance of light source.
Distance between plant and lamp

Number of bubbles per day









10cm with baking soda


2. Explain why changing the distance of the lamp affect the rate of photosynthesis. This may require
research on your part.
Ans: The cholorophyll is the green pigment inside the plant that absorbs sunlight. Cholorophyll is inside
the Photosystem both I&II and works in absorbtion of solar energy into plant then energizes the
electrons that was splitted from water to pass through the process of light reaction, a part of
photosynthesis. The more intense the light the plant absorb more of the light and use it as a requirement
so energizes the electron which would speed up the photosynthesis and would lead to the increasing of
the rate of photosynthesis. The Carbon dioxide increase the rate of photosynthesis and it will stop
increasing when the rate reaches a threshold level, where the rate of photosynthesis is limited by another
3. Explain how Oxygen is produced and released during photosynthesis
Ans: Oxygen is produced when the solar enegy is absorbed to photosystem II by the presence of
cholorophyll and it splits the water molecule(H2O) which came from the capillary action, when roots
absorb water. Water molecule splits to H+ the proton, electrons and half oxygen molecule (O2). Then,
two water molecules will then form one O2 molecule as a byproduct and release it out via stomata since

the oxygen was not the factor that is going to be use in cellular respiration. So, it came out through
stomata as a product.
4. Explain the effect Sodium Bicarbonate has on the rate of photosynthesis.
Ans: Sodium Biarbonate or everybody know it in the name of Baking Soda which contains Carbon
Dioxide. Therefore, adding Sodium Bicarbonate into the water allows the plant to gain more amount of
Carbon Dioxide and If theres more Carbon Dioxide, it would splits out and procedure will increase the
rate, more than it normally do when it doesnt receive the Sodium Bicarbonate which would give an
extra amount of Carbon Dioxide.

5. Research using your text and/or the internet, how a desert plant, which takes in very little water and
has high heat intensity during the day, still efficiently produces glucose by photosynthesis.
Ans: Its likely impossible for the normal plants to still function the photosynthesis with very small
amount of water and the high heat density during the day. But It worked for plant which live in the desrt.
They got to adapt their lifestyles to stay alive in the different environmen. After reseaching we found
some interesting information in how the desert plant functioned.
1. Stomata on a plant's leaves and stems open to absorb Carbon dioxide from the environment and
in release oxygen (O2) in return. Everytime a plant opens its stomata, some water(H2O) is lost.
This process is called transpiration. And gaining that water that the desert plant lose are not easy
for them because of the so little moisture in the surrounding and if there no water for the desert
plant, the plants would die. So in this case, the deset plant have smaller, fewer and deeper pores
to reduce their H2O loss.
2. In Transpiration that usually occur in day time for most plant, the desert plants transpiration
happen at night. So decreasing the amount of water that is going to be lost because the
temperature is much lower and causes water to evaporate much slower than doing it in the day
time with high temperature.
3. The Desert plant mostly have little leaves or no leaf at all and they also have a waxy cover. The
small amount of leaves make them have the smaller surface area that is exposed to the sun and
the smaller area of the plant that is exposed, the lesser amount of water(H2O) going to lose
during transpiration. And the waxy cover allow leaves to open and absorb the Carbon dioxide
without losing the much water. Because it have a thick cover of a waxy substances.
4. During the day which is very hot, desert plant roll up their leaves or called hide and rest to
decrease the amount of surface area exposed to sun and wind. Some plants put themselves in that
position so they doesnt face the hot climate during the day.
5. Desert plants have a very deep taproots, sometimes longer than 100 feet. The taproots are huge
and it spread out underground from plant in all directions. It allow desert plant to absorb water
from the slightest rainfall.
As said above are just some of the factors that allow the desert plant to still functioning, Therere some
more reasons which are not mentioned above but anyways the desert plant have some special ways they
work that are different from how the normal plant work. It may not be as good as how the normal plant
functioning but its already good for the plant that need to face the hot climate which is so impossible to
do photosynthesis like that.

The Autotroph are the organism that can produce sugars by themselves by
photosynthesis. Using Carbondioxide, Sunlight and Water to produce Oxygen and Glucose.
As a conclusion based from the information from the analyzing results, the results from this
experiment shows that the closer the plant is to the light source, increasing the rate of Oxygen
that is produced. The light are absorb to the photosystem and more intense the light, the more
the energy given to both of the Photosystem. Then Photosystem continue energizing the
electrons. The more electrons got energize then the higher the enery the electrons would be
which may caused them to work faster as the result and the whole process of photosynthesis
are also increasing its rate. The oxygen was the result of splited carbon dioxide, and the
carbon dioxide enters the plant through stomata then was release back to environment also
through stomata. The results from all the group may not be precise because it depends on the
different part of the Elodea,the plant we used we get. Different part of the plant may function
differently in the rate.Which we can assume that in reality, different kinds of plants and
different parts of the plant can have the different rate of photosynthesis. We are also saying
that the Sodium Bicarbonate has an impact on the rate of the bubbles released. After we
researched we knows that the Sodium bicarbonate or everybody know it as Baking soda are
consists of Carbon dioxide. Adding Sodium bicarbonate to plant are like adding more Carbon
dioxide to the plant.By receiving more Carbon dioxide that is use as a factor of the
photosynthesis the whole process is inceasing its rate when therere more Carbon dioxide
present. As you can see from the data table that our first minutes of first time 10cm was quite
low. We are thinking that it was because we didnt expose the Elodea plant to the lamp long
enough so the plant doesnt fully function yet. After the first minutes the rate of bubbles seem
to increase more and more and was decreasing as the distance between the plant and the lamp
became further. If we get a chance to do this experiment again we would make sure that we
properly exposed the Elodea plant to the light in the enough amount of time first and maybe
the resultsof the bubbles rate would be more accurate. We learned lots from this experiment
about photosynthesis, how desert plant work based on the research, releasing of oxygen and
much more. After we do the lab, we were so interested in how the bubbles went up because
we knew what the bubbles have to go through before coming out like that so it was so
impressive to all four of us.