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An experiment into looking at cell division in a garlic root tip

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Introduction

An experiment into looking at cell division in a garlic root tip Introduction/Aim The aim of this experiment is to see dividing cells at various stages, demonstrating mitosis in a garlic root tip. A garlic root tip is a good example to demonstrate mitosis because, when the root is in water, several roots are produced over a short period of time. Mitosis is the process of ordinary cell division used for growth and repair. The root tip of any plant contains meristem tissue. This is where the plants mitotic division takes place, (unlike animal cells, where it can occur anywhere). The plants individual cells cannot be seen as they have many layers and therefore must be squashed in order to see mitosis occurring. Mitosis has several stages. The first stage is interpahse; here the nucleolus is sometimes visible. The chromosomes are too thread-like for clear visibility under the microscope; the cell has a normal appearance of a non-dividing cell. The second stage is prophase, the nucleolus disappears and the chromosomes become more visible. ...read more.

Middle

Safety assessment Goggles Prevents from any splashes getting in the eyes. Lab coats Prevents staining of clothes. Stools and bags Should be put away, preventing trips and falls. Scalpels and needles Take care when using. Ensure that the first aid box is readily available incase of any cuts. Hazardous liquids Care must be taken when measuring and the correct procedures must be carried out when cleaning up any spillages. Liquids should not be poured down the sink. If any of the liquids were to get on the skin, hands must be washed immediately. Microscopes Ensure that liquids are kept away to prevent electrocution. Glass Can easily break, and is also going to be hot when coming straight out of the oven. Handle with care and follow procedures for cleaning any breakages. Method 1. The garlic root tips were treated in hydrochloric acid and placed in an oven at 60�C and timed on a stopwatch for six minutes. 2. After six minutes the root tips were taken out of the oven and the hydrochloric acid was removed from the watch glass. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although not many stages were observed under the microscope, this could have been for a number of reasons. For example, if the garlic was stored in cold conditions at the supermarket, it reduces its root growth. The same could be said if the garlic was treated to give it a longer shelf life. Instead, if fresh garlic was to be used the chances of garlic root cells dividing would be higher. Alternatively, ensure that the garlic is a maximum of three months old, and kept in warm storage. (www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk) another reason that it wasn't possible to see any cells dividing in the garlic root tip was because the staining solution, felugen reagent, was old and therefore didn't stain dark enough to highlight any stages of mitosis. The only stage that was highlighted however was telophase. Telophase is the fifth stage in mitosis, and this is where the chromatids arrive at opposite ends of the poles of the cell and the chromosomes are no longer visible under the microscope. Conclusion The major findings in the experiment that were found that cells in various stages of mitosis were not observed under the microscope, apart from telophase. Reference: http://www-saps.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/records/rec184.htm (viewed: 15/11/2008) http://www.azete.com/preview/46608 (viewed: 15/11/2008) http://www4.alief.isd.tenet.edu/cahowe/Biology/pak%205/PAK%205%20BIO%20PREAPMitosis%20Instructions.htm (viewed: 15/11/2008) http://en.mimi.hu/index.html (viewed: 15/11/2008) ...read more.

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