Science 5: Plant Pigments
Today we'll learn all about how to use plants to improve your pig's bad breath and—wait nevermind. This is about why plants have certain colors, or pigments. Hm. Well, you have fun learning about that, we'll work on trying to brush Wilbur's teeth again. He does not seem to like it.
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
We haven't seen something that red since we ate at Red Lobster last week… [Joe is sunburnt]
So why does Joe look like something we'd eat with cheddar bay biscuits?
The sun produces sunlight, shocking, we know, and it can have an effect on lots of different [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
things –one of those things being the pigment of a plant.
But plants aren't exactly going to the salon to work on their tans. [Plants walking to 'Plant Bronze World']
So what causes them to have different pigments? [Plant on a sunbed]
Well, it all depends on where they're growing.
For example, a plant growing out in the middle of a field all by itself, is going to have
a lot more direct exposure to the sun than one that that grows on the floor of a dense jungle. [Plant surrounded by tall trees]
And so, just like how we wear sunscreen and hats when we go out into the sun—well, most [People wearing their hats and sunglasses]
of us, anyway, Joe—these different plants adapt themselves to their situations. [Joe jumps into a hole in the ground]
An essential job of a plant is to absorb sunlight to be used in the photosynthesis process! [Plant vacuuming up sunlight]
In order to do this, plants have a variety of different pigments.
Pigments help the plant suck up as much of that good ol' sunlight as possible.
One such pigment is called chlorophyll a, which is found in all plants, no matter where they live. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
But depending on their location and exposure to sun, plants might also have other pigments,
including chlorophyll b, chlorophyll c, and b-carotene.
Each of these pigments can affect the appearance of the plant itself.
For instance, chlorophylls are especially green in color when extracted, [Plant turns green]
while carotenes are orange. [Plant turns orange]
You know, like carrots?
Carrots…carot-ene eh, eh? [Carrot appears]
Well, most of them anyway.
Some plants even have pigments that protect against UV light – exactly like sunscreen [Plant holding a bottle of sunscreen]
But it all comes down to what each particular plant needs based on its location and access to the sun.
And unlike some of us, plants tend to know exactly how much sun protection they really [Plant sunbathing]
Now if you'd excuse us, we need to whip up a batch of cheddar bay biscuits.