Effects of Temperature on Catalase Activity

995 words 4 pages
Effects of Temperature and pH on Catalase Activity


Enzymes are organic catalysts that spur metabolic reactions. The presence of an enzyme within a cell is essential in order for any sort of reaction to take place. All enzymes are complex proteins that act in an organism's closely controlled internal environment. In such a homeostatic environment, the temperature and the pH (concentration of hydrogen ions), remain within a fairly narrow range. Extreme variations in pH and temperature denature the enzyme by altering its chemical structure, thus adversely affecting the chemical reaction. As even the slightest change in the protein's structure will change the enzyme's shape enough to prevent the formation of the
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However, colder temperatures seem to facilitate the enzymatic reaction as test tubes placed in such gave off ample amounts of oxygen (bubbles). For instance, the catalase which had been in the refrigerator produced a bubble column of twenty five millimeters, and the test tube yielding the largest bubble column of thirty-eight millimeters had been partially immersed in an ice cold bath of twenty- two degrees. (See Graph 1.1)

During the test for pH, when hydrogen peroxide was added to the catalase/water solution with a pH of 3, which is acidic, thirty four millimeters of bubbles were produced. After adding hydrogen peroxide to a basic solution, with the pH of 11, the bubble column reached only fourteen millimeters. The enzyme, catalase, appears to react best when in a solution with a basic pH, based on the formation of a thirty-seven millimeter bubble column when a catalase/water solution, with pH of 7, was combined with hydrogen peroxide. ( See graph 1.2)

DISCUSSION Every reaction requires its own specialized enzyme, which is uniquely capable of functioning under the conditions in which the organism exists, to create metabolic reactions within its cells. The enzyme, catalase, is derived from potatoes and is present in cells where it speeds up the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. Potatoes are grown under ground in rather cold


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