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The Respiratory Quotient or RQ value is a measure of the ratio of carbon dioxide produced and oxygen consumed by an organism per unit time The respiratory.

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Presentation on theme: "The Respiratory Quotient or RQ value is a measure of the ratio of carbon dioxide produced and oxygen consumed by an organism per unit time The respiratory."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Respiratory Quotient or RQ value is a measure of the ratio of carbon dioxide produced and oxygen consumed by an organism per unit time The respiratory quotient is a ratio and therefore has NO UNITS The respiratory quotient is a valuable measurement as it provides us with information regarding the nature of the substrate being used by an organism for respiration The simplified equation for the aerobic respiration of glucose is: C 6 H O 2 = 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O RQ = volume of carbon dioxide produced volume of oxygen consumed per unit time In this reaction, SIX CARBON DIOXIDE MOLECULES are produced and SIX OXYGEN MOLECULES are consumed The RQ for this reaction is 6 CO 2 /6 O 2 = 1 The Respiratory Quotient (RQ)

2 The RQ value varies with the nature of the substrate being used for respiration The following equation represents the complete oxidation of the fatty acid, OLEIC ACID, when used as the substrate for respiration The simplified equation for the aerobic respiration of oleic acid is: 2C 18 H O 2 = 36 CO H 2 O In this reaction, THIRTY SIX CARBON DIOXIDE MOLECULES are produced and FIFTY ONE OXYGEN MOLECULES are consumed The RQ for this reaction is 36 CO 2 /51 O 2 = 0.7 The Respiratory Quotient (RQ)

3 The following table shows the RQ values for different classes of respiratory substrate when they are used for aerobic respiration glucose fatty acid protein If any degree of anaerobic respiration occurs RQ values significantly above a value of 1.0 are obtained The Respiratory Quotient (RQ)

4 MEASURING RESIPRATORY PROCESSES The RESPIROMETER is a piece of apparatus that can be used for measuring rates of respiration and RQ values for small organisms such as woodlice and germinating seeds The apparatus consists essentially of two boiling tubes connected by a manometer (capillary U-tube) Experimental tube containing the organisms to be studied Control tube containing an equal volume of glass beads Manometer U-tube containing coloured liquid

5 MEASURING RESIPRATORY PROCESSES Equal volumes of potassium hydroxide (KOH) or SODA LIME are placed into each of the boiling tubes KOH solution The function of the KOH or the SODA LIME is to absorb CARBON DIOXIDE GAS The animal or plant material in the experimental tube is protected from the KOH or SODA LIME by a barrier consisting of a zinc-gauze platform gauze platform A 1 cm 3 syringe is inserted into the control tube and is used to force air through the apparatus before the experiment and to equalise the manometer levels between experiments The screw clip, when closed, prevents atmospheric air from entering the apparatus The scale attached to the manometer allows changes in the levels of the manometer fluid to be measured

6 MEASURING RESIPRATORY PROCESSES The principle behind the functioning of the apparatus is the changes in AIR PRESSURE within the tubes during the course of the experiment As the organisms in the experimental tube respire, they remove oxygen molecules from the tube and release carbon dioxide molecules into the tube O2O2 CO 2 The released carbon dioxide is absorbed by the KOH solution The total number of gas molecules in the experimental tube will therefore be reduced The air pressure in the experimental tube therefore decreases and the manometer fluid will be pushed upwards in the left-hand side of the U-tube

7 MEASURING RESIPRATORY PROCESSES The manometer fluid is pushed towards the experimental tube The distance moved by the fluid can be measured form the scale distance moved by the fluid

8 MEASURING RESIPRATORY PROCESSES The volume of oxygen used by the organisms can now be calculated using the following formula: r 2 h where = (a constant) r = internal radius of manometer capillary tube (mm) h = distance moved by the manometer fluid (mm) distance moved by the fluid The control tube has two functions It negates any effects that temperature changes may have on the pressure of the air in the system It enables us to demonstrate that any changes in the manometer tube are due to living processes Throughout the procedure the boiling tubes are immersed in a water bath, usually maintained at 20 ° C, to minimise any temperature fluctuations that may occur during the course of the experiment

9 CALCULATING THE RATE OF RESPIRATION In order to calculate the rate of respiration, other values must be known The volume of oxygen (mm 3 ) used by the respiring organisms is usually calculated after a period of ONE HOUR The mass of the organisms (in grams) used for the experiment is also needed The rate of respiration is calculated as the oxygen consumption per gram of body mass per minute If we had 2g of germinating seeds respiring for one hour in a respirometer and finally showing a volume change of 20mm 3 then: Rate of respiration = 20 2 x 60 = 0.17 Using the appropriate units then; Rate of respiration = 0.17 mm 3 g -1 min -1

10 The effect of temperature on the respiratory rate of small organisms can be investigated using the respirometer The effect of temperature on the rate of respiration can be investigated by changing the temperature of the water bath A temperature range of 10 ° C to 40 ° C is suitable for this investigation As the temperature of the water bath is changed for each rate measurement, it is important to allow a period of around 10 minutes to elapse before timing the experiment This ten minute time period is necessary to allow for equilibration – i.e. to enable gas pressures in the apparatus to adjust and to allow the organisms to be fully adjusted to the new temperature The results of temperature experiments can be used to calculate a Q 10 value for respiration where: Q 10 = Rate of respiration at t o C Rate of respiration at t + 10ºC

11 OBTAINING RQ VALUES The respirometer can also be used to obtain values for the RESPIRATORY QUOTIENT or RQ RQ = volume of carbon dioxide produced volume of oxygen consumed per unit time KOH solution The apparatus is first set up with KOH in the boiling tubes The apparatus is left to run for one hour At the end of this period, a value for the volume of oxygen consumed is obtained As KOH absorbs carbon dioxide then the manometer fluid will rise towards the left hand tube as the organisms respire and consume oxygen The distance moved by the manometer fluid is used to calculate the volume of oxygen consumed according to the formula: r 2 h STEP 1

12 OBTAINING RQ VALUES WATER The whole procedure is now repeated, under identical conditions, but with water replacing the KOH solution Carbon dioxide gas is no longer being absorbed form the air in the experimental tube STEP 2 If, under these conditions, the manometer fluid DOES NOT MOVE, then the volume of oxygen being consumed is EQUAL to the volume of carbon dioxide being produced The volume of oxygen consumed in one hour has been determined in STEP 1 of the procedure Consider this value to have been 20mm 3 of oxygen in one hour We can conclude that the volume of carbon dioxide produced must have the SAME VALUE as the manometer fluid did not move towards either of the tubes So volume of oxygen consumed is equal to the volume of carbon dioxide produced

13 WATER OBTAINING RQ VALUES STEP 2 In this example the manometer fluid did not move towards either of the tubes Oxygen consumption in one hour is equal to carbon dioxide production in one hour Considering the value for oxygen consumption to have been 20mm 3 in one hour then: RQ = 20 mm 3 h -1 = 1 An RQ value of 1 indicates that the organisms are using carbohydrate as the respiratory substrate during the course of this experiment

14 OBTAINING RQ VALUES During a further experiment using the respirometer, a value for oxygen consumption of 20 mm 3 in one hour was again obtained when KOH was present in the apparatus When the KOH was replaced with water the following result was obtained after one hour WATER distance moved by the fluid = 10 mm The manometer fluid had moved upwards towards the left hand tube by a distance of 10 mm in one hour r 2 h Using the formula this represents a volume of 7.86 mm 3 h -1 (capillary diameter is 1 mm) In this example, the oxygen consumed does not equal the amount of carbon dioxide produced The carbon dioxide is not being absorbed and so this result shows that oxygen consumption exceeds carbon dioxide production by a volume of 7.86 mm 3 h -1 As the oxygen consumption is known to be 20 mm 3 h -1, then carbon dioxide production must be mm 3 h -1

15 OBTAINING RQ VALUES WATER distance moved by the fluid = 10 mm r 2 h Using the formula this represents a volume of 7.86 mm 3 h -1 (capillary diameter is 1 mm) OXYGEN CONSUMPTION = 20 mm 3 h -1 CARBON DIOXIDE PRODUCTION = mm 3 h -1 (20 – 7.86) RQ = mm 3 h mm 3 h -1 = 0.61 An RQ value of 0.61 suggests that the organisms are using fatty acids as the substrate for respiration (expected value for fatty acids is 0.7) The deviation of the obtained value from 0.7 is most likely to be due sources of error in the procedure Errors can arise from leaking joints, failure of KOH to absorb all the CO 2 and inaccuracy in reading the scale

16 WATER OBTAINING RQ VALUES During a further experiment using the respirometer, a value for oxygen consumption of 20 mm 3 in one hour was again obtained when KOH was present in the apparatus When the KOH was replaced with water the following result was obtained after one hour The manometer fluid had moved upwards towards the right hand tube by a distance of 4 mm in one hour r 2 h Using the formula this represents a volume of 3.14 mm 3 h -1 (capillary diameter is 1 mm) In this example, the oxygen consumed does not equal the amount of carbon dioxide produced The carbon dioxide is not being absorbed and so this result shows that carbon dioxide production exceeds oxygen consumption by a volume of 3.14 mm 3 h -1 As the oxygen consumption is known to be 20 mm 3 h -1, then carbon dioxide production must be mm 3 h -1 distance moved by the fluid = 4 mm

17 OBTAINING RQ VALUES distance moved by the fluid = 4 mm RQ = mm 3 h mm 3 h -1 = 1.16 OXYGEN CONSUMPTION = 20 mm 3 h -1 CARBON DIOXIDE PRODUCTION = mm 3 h -1 ( ) r 2 h Using the formula this represents a volume of 3.14 mm 3 h -1 (capillary diameter is 1 mm) WATER An RQ value of 1.16 suggests that the organisms have resorted to anaerobic respiration at some stage during the period of the investigation (RQ values above one suggest that some anaerobic respiration has occurred)

18 Questions on RQ 1. What is RQ3 marks 2. Why is RQ different for different substances 3 marks 3. What is a respirometer 4 marks 4. What are the differences between the experimental respirometer used in class and the one in the book 4 marks


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