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DCPIP (its full name is 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol) is a blue chemical used as a dye because when it is oxidized it is blue. Once DCPIP is reduced (by addition of electrons) it does not have a color anymore. This reaction can be reversed, and the colourless DCPIP will turn blue again, when it is oxidized.

Purpose[change | change source]

DCPIP is often used to measure the electron transport chain in plants. It has a higher redox potential (electron affinity) than the Fe-S complex in cytochrome b and will therefore "steal" electrons from it. This means that cytochrome c does not receive them. The process cuts off the electron supply of photosystem I. A common way to illustrate this change is by the addition of vitamin C solution. This reduces the 'jelly' by transforming it to a colourless mass. This experiment can be carried out to illustrate the effect of changing cell sizes on SA/V (surface area:volume ratio). This is known as Titration.

References[change | change source]

  • Mathews, Ahern, Van Holde, Biochemistry, Addison Wesley Longman Inc., 2000 pp534–5