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Seed Germination Experiment

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Seed Germination Experiment

Literature Review

Seeds are quite intriguing. An embryo plant lies inactive in the seed. The embryo contains enough stored chemical energy to sustain the young seedling until the seedling can generate its energy from the sun through the process of photosynthesis. A prominent factor to contemplate when determining the success of the young seedling is the breaking of dormancy otherwise referred to as the timing of germination (Lodge, 2004). A good example is the milkweed seeds that are normally carried on by the wind far from the mother plant in the late summer. These seeds end up in vast environments. When such seeds germinate immediately, they will not be able to flower due to the effects of winter and frost. Milkweed seeds usually germinate in conditions of low temperatures. Spring season provides such moist and warm conditions to sustain the ideal germination of novel milkweed. The germination of the milkweed seeds is dependent on their response to particular signals from the environment (Sallon, Solowey, Cohen, Korchinsky, Egl & Woodhatch et al. 2008).

There are immense environmental factors that can affect the germination of various seeds. Day length, light color, gravity, light intensity, night length, temperature, oxygen availability, seed condition, seed size are but some of the environmental factors that can have measurable effects on germination of seeds. Farmers all around the world have immense knowledge regarding other environmental factors that may have a direct or indirect impact on seed germination such as tidal effects, phases of the moon or planting with companion seeds (Qu, Huang, Baskin & Baskin, 2007).  As such seed germination is an ideal topic for scientific experimentation and evaluation. The reason for this is that seed germination is easily observable, and there are immense well-known and sometimes ambiguous environmental factors that can influence germination.Seed Germination Experiment

The initial process of germination and breaking of seed dormancy is the absorption of water. Naturally, seeds absorb water from the soil. Plantation of seeds in pots of soil is a sure way of studying the germination of seeds. Moreover, there are a lot of results and comparisons that can be done with controlled experiments. Nonetheless, observation of seed germination is not an easy task as it is only the top half of the newly emerged plant that is visible. The roots that are developing from the process of germination are also a prominent part of the study (Chachalis & Reddy, 2009). Therefore, it is important to carry out the experiment on moist filter papers that will make observation and measurement of root growth easy and simple.

Experimental Design

This germination experiment involved the study of four seeds contained in bird mix. The experiment will determine the percentage of the seeds contained in the bird food that will germinate. The bird mix used in the experiment had four discordant seeds occurring in equal proportions.

Setup

The materials used in the experiment include:

  • Paper towels that were covered with a piece of cotton cloth for substrate
  • Four plastic containers having transparent lids
  • 50 ml of water in each container
  • 100 seeds of each species

The experimental design is a key factor in the seed germination experiment so as to attain accurate results and make ideal comparisons. For instance, the bird mix is an ideal ingredient since it has varied seed species. Moreover, the materials used and the place of the experiment are suitable for the process of seed germination.

Sequence of events-Seed Germination Experiment

Each seed species was dispensed to distinct plastic containers. The paper towel was placed on the bottom of each container and covered with a black cloth to enhance visual contrast and for the purpose of observation convenience.

One hundred seeds were selected for each kind so as to simplify the process of calculations. The amount of seeds that germinated was treated as the germination rate. The different species of seeds were laid out in the appropriate containers in patterns resembling a grid system having ten seeds in each of the ten lines.

So as to maintain a moist environment, the seeds were covered with a protective lid. The containers were placed in a well-lit room for illumination. However, the containers were not exposed to direct sunlight.

Variables

There were various constants in the germination experiment. For instance, constant lighting conditions, constant moisture, constant temperature, the same amount of tested seeds and same substrate for all species of seeds were administered in the seed germination experiment. The independent variable for the seed germination experiment was the seed species while the dependent variable was the number/amount of seeds germinated.

Threat Reduction to Internal Validity

The seed germination experimented was carried out sensitized equipment to avoid any contamination or introduction of foreign substances that could alter the validity of the results of the experiment.  For instance, the containers were covered with a protective lead and the room where the experiment was cleaned to ensure that it is rid of any physical hazards to the seed germination experiment.

Goal

The goal of the experiment was to determine the germination rate of the seeds as well as the average germination time of the different species of seeds.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis of the experiment was that the average of time of germination for the discordant species of seeds will be faintly different but similar because of the similar size of the seeds, and the seeds will depict similar and high germination rate. The expectation of the experiment was to register a germination rate higher than fifty percent (50%). Another expectation was that the seed germination experiment would depict normal distribution.

Process of Data Collection

The containers having the seeds for the experiment was checked every 24 hours and the germinated seeds were counted with the observed number being recorded in a table. The seeds that were counted as having germinated were those whose roots were vividly visible and the base of the cotyledons, or the whole cotyledons were visible. In the duration of the first three days of observation, there was no detection of any germinated seeds. The only visible sign of the germination process was the increased size or volume of the seeds. At the end of a six-day duration, there were mixed results for the various species of seeds in the germination experiment