Advanced Placement / Biology

Plant Pigments

In this lab, students will extract pigments from spinach leaves and analyze their samples using chromatography and colorimetry.

Students will use paper chromatography to separate the extract's pigments for identification. The colorimeter is used to determine the relative absorbance of four different colors of light (blue, green, orange, and red). Finally, students relate their chromatography results to their colorimetric data to refine their understanding of how plants capture light for photosynthesis. If available, a spectrometer can be used to view the full absorbance spectrum for spinach leaves.

Source: Advanced Biology Through Inquiry


Student Files

ADVBIO_10_Plant_Pigments_S.docx 1.27 MB
ADVBIO_10_Plant_Pigments_S.pdf 876.58 KB
ADVBIO_10_Plant_Pigments_pt1.spklab 5.69 KB

Teacher Files

Sign In to your PASCO account to access teacher files and sample data.

Standards Correlations

IB Topics AP Topics
2.9 2; 4

Featured Equipment

Colorimeter and Turbidity

Wireless Colorimeter & Turbidity Sensor

This sensor can function as a turbidimeter or colorimeter and is capable of measuring absorbance and transmittance at six different wavelengths.


Wireless Spectrometer (VIS)

Measure intensity, absorbance, transmittance across the visible spectrum, and fluorescence at 405nm and 500nm.

Many lab activities can be conducted with our Wireless, PASPORT, or even ScienceWorkshop sensors and equipment. For assistance with substituting compatible instruments, contact PASCO Technical Support. We're here to help.

Copyright Disclaimer: Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 makes allowance for “fair use” for purposes of teaching, scholarship, education and research. Reproduction under any other circumstances, without the written consent of PASCO, is prohibited.

More Biology Experiments

High School

Acid Rain

Advanced Placement

Enzyme Activity (Pressure)

Advanced Placement


Advanced Placement