College biology 102/103 lab 3: cell structure and function

Pre-Lab Questions

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1.    Identify three major similarities and differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.


Similarities –









Differences –



















Experiment 1: Cell Structure and Function


Label each of the arrows in the following slide image:

A –

B –

C –

D –



Post-Lab Questions



1.    What organelle

a.    is composed of RNA and protein?

b.    is composed of a system of canals for transport of molecules through the cell?

c.    is the site where the most energy is obtained from carbohydrates?

d.    is the site of packaging of cellular secretions?

e.    is not found in animal cells?

f.     is found in the nucleus?

g.    is a fluid-filled sac that stores food and water?

h.    contains enzymes for intracellular digestion?



1.    Would a cell be able to survive without mitochondria? Why or why not?






2.    Do you think that a plant cell, which already has a stiff, strong cell wall, still really needs a cell membrane? Explain why or why not.





3.    What is the largest animal cell? Why aren’t there cells one (1) foot in diameter or larger?







Experiment 2: Osmosis – Direction and Concentration Gradients


Table 3: Sucrose Concentration vs. Tubing Permeability

Band Color

% Sucrose in Beaker

% Sucrose in Bag

Initial Volume (mL)

Final Volume (mL)

Net Displacement (mL)




























Post-Lab Questions

1.    For each of the tubing pieces, identify whether the solution inside was hypotonic, hypertonic, or isotonic in comparison to the beaker solution in which it was placed.

Yellow –

Red –

Blue –

Green –








2.    Which tubing increased the most in volume? Explain why this happened.




3.    What would happen if the tubing with the yellow band was placed in a beaker of distilled water?



4.    If you wanted water to flow out of a tubing piece filled with a 50% solution, what would the minimum concentration of the beaker solution need to be?



5.    Based upon what you observed in this experiment, why is being adrift in the middle of the ocean on a raft equivalent to being lost in the middle of the desert?



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