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Adaobi Onyali

Biology

Mr. Maddison

Will DNA and RNA be evenly distributed throughout cells?

Introduction
DNA is the most important chemical in substance in human life. DNA is a polynucleotide. Each nucleotide comprises of a Nitrogenous base, phosphoric acid and a deoxyribose sugar. RNA is another important biological chemical in human life, as this is needed during protein synthesis. There are couple of differences between RNA and DNA. One is that RNA is single stranded whilst DNA is double stranded. Moreover, RNA is a lot smaller than DNA, as DNA cannot through the nuclei pores, so RNA is made so that it can through the pores and be used for protein synthesis. Also the sugar in RNA is called ribose whilst in DNA its deoxyribose. This is because DNA has a Hydrogen (H) group at the second carbon of the sugar and RNA has a Hydroxy Group (-OH). This is why DNA is called deoxyribose. DNA uses different bases than RNA. DNA uses Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Thymine (T), and Guanine (G). The A pairs up with the T and the C pairs up with the G. RNA uses the same bases, except Thymine. Thymine is replaced with Uracil (U). So for RNA, A pairs with U and G pairs with C. Another difference is that DNA is normally found in the nucleus, whilst RNA is found in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. In this experiment we were investigating whether DNA and RNA are evenly distributed throughout cells. During the investigation, we had to decide what a good source to retrieve cells was and whether it would be ethical and safe. After having a few discussions, we decided that we would use plant cells to carry out this experiment. The reason why we settled for plant cells is because they cant feel pain when extracting the cells. However because plant cells are glued together in the middle lamella with the help of pectin, it make it hard to separate them. But the roots were soaked in Hydrochloric acid the night before in order for the middle lamella to soften up. Before starting the experiment, we questioned the title; Will DNA and RNA be evenly distributed throughout cells? Some said yes, some said no and the others werent sure. However when you think about it, DNA and RNA are not evenly distributed throughout the cells. The reason being that in the nucleus, there is DNA ad mRNA (messenger RNA) and in the cytoplasm there is rRNA (Ribosome RNA) and tRNA (transfer RNA). So the answer to

Adaobi Onyali

Biology

Mr. Maddison

the question of whether DNA and RNA are evenly distributed throughout cells is no. There is more RNA in the cells than DNA. For this investigation we needed a cell that was actively metabolic, so that even after being separated from the plant, it would still be able to grow and reproduce. To do this experiment we had to cut 3mm off the root tip of either a garlic root or a spring onion root. The reason why we cut off the root tip was because it hadnt been tampered with, so its cells were still active. One disadvantage of DNA and RNA is that they are colourless. So in order to see them under the microscope, we had to use a stain; Methyl Green to turn DNA green and Pyronin to turn RNA pink. For this experiment to work, we need a single layer of cells, as cells are multilayered. To do this will need to find a suitable method. We could this by macerating the root of the garlic and quash the root until we believe this is done. In order to retrieve our cells that we need, we should extract them ethically, so we can extract cells from plants or invertebrates e.g. Daphnia do not have a nervous system. But for this particular task we are going to use garlic root in order to extract cells.

Hypothesis
The hypothesis of this investigation was that DNA and RNA are evenly distributed throughout cells.

Equipment
Distilled Water Garlic root soaked in Hydrochloric Acid Scalpel Slide Cover Slip Pipette Methyl Green-Pyronin Stain Microscope Tile Needle Tweezers

Method
1. To start with we collected all the equipment that we needed and placed them on our desks. 2. Next we took the tweezers are picked up a root from the beaker containing Hydrochloric Acid. We then placed the root on a tile and with a scalpel, cut 3mm off the tip of the root. 3. We then macerated the root so that we could get a single layer of cells. The reason why we did this was because it is easier to see a single layer of cells under the microscope rather than seeing a black blob because of the amount of cells in one area.

Adaobi Onyali

Biology

Mr. Maddison

4. After macerating the cells for a good five minutes, we transferred the sections of the root from a tile to a slide, where we covered it with aqueous methyl green-Pyronin stain and left for 30 minutes. Used a pipette to drop the stain on the mashed cells. The reason why we left the stain on for half an hour is so that all the cells could absorb it. We put the stain on the cells because as I mentioned before, DNA and RNA are colourless, so in order to see them under the microscope we needed to stain the cells. 5. After the 30 minutes, we drew off the stain with a clean pipette and replaced it with distilled water. We did about three or four time so the water could thoroughly wash the sections. The reason as to why we replaced the stain with distilled water is because if you put the slide under the microscope without distilling the stain, you would only see a big blob of green. 6. We then covered the slide with the cover slip and placed a blotting paper on the slip we pressed it down with our thumbs using all our weight. This was to make sure that the cells were distributed evenly under the cover slip. 7. Lastly, we placed the slide under the microscope, making sure that the power was low. To see the material on the slide clearer, we adjusted our microscopes by moving them up, down, left, right and maybe even changing the power.

Results
The results did not come out the way we expected. DNA was supposed to be blue-green and RNA was meant to be pink/red. The results that I got only showed DNA (which was blue green) in the nucleus. However there was no evidence showing that RNA was in the nucleus. Other members of the class did not get the same results as I did. My results showed that the nucleotide was green and the cytoplasm wasnt pink/red.

Evaluation
This investigation wasnt as successful as we wanted it to be. We didnt get the results we anticipated for even though we followed the method very carefully. There are ways in which we could have made the investigation accurate. We could have heated the root tips in Hydrochloric Acid in order for the middle lamella to soften up. Another thing we could have done is that we could have maybe left the stain on the cells for a bit longer so that they could soak it up more. We could have also grown the roots ourselves, and this would have benefited as because we would know when the root was cut off the plant and whether it was still metabolically active.

Conclusion
In conclusion I think that the investigation was not very successful due to the lack of actual results. To sum up this investigation we found DNA in the nucleus and no RNA in the cytoplasm. So I conclude saying that DNA and RNA are not evenly distributed throughout cells.

Adaobi Onyali

Biology

Mr. Maddison