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Plan an investigation to find out if there is a relationship between the concentration of phosphate ions in nutrient solutions and the number of cells dividing by mitosis in root tips

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Introduction

Investigation to find out if there is a relationship between the concentration of phosphate ions in nutrient solutions and the number of cells dividing by mitosis in root tips. Mitosis is the nuclear division of a cell producing two genetically identical daughter nuclei, each containing the same number of chromosomes as the parent nucleus. Mitosis is a continuous cycle but has been divided into four stages; prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase. Phosphate is important for all organisms; it is essential for growth and development and has several roles; * Nucleotides - DNA, RNA & ATP are nucleic acids; phosphate groups are vital to their structure. It combines with the sugar forming a sugar-phosphate backbone, which holds the molecule and covalently bonds different nucleotides to one another. DNA & RNA have one phosphate group and ATP has three. ATP is used by cells to carry out 'work, therefore is considered as 'energy currency' and is needed during the actual process of mitosis. * DNA replication - two extra phosphate groups are added to nucleotides for activation, allowing them to pair up with complementary bases on the 'old' DNA strands (semi-conservative replication). ...read more.

Middle

* Lack of phosphate means protein synthesis won't occur or will be inefficient, vital enzymes needed during mitosis can't be made and mitosis will not take place. PRELIMINARY " Preparation & observation of the stages of mitosis in root tips." From this experiment I learnt how to prepare a squash slide to view under a microscope. I understood the consequences of adding too much acetic orcein (stained chromosomes too deeply.) I heated the hydrochloric acid by warming over a flame; I developed this for my method, as it was not an accurate technique. The temperature couldn't be controlled and therefore could disrupt my results so I plan on using a water bath at a set temperature and a thermometer to ensure the temperature was maintained. APPARATUS * Garlic clove - roots * Microscope - view specimen under magnification * Nutrient solution - required for growth * Phosphate tablets - vary concentrations * Acetic orcein - stain chromosomes making them visible * Slides & coverslips - prepare specimen for viewing * Scalpel - cut root * Watch glass - hold specimen * Filter paper -mop excess liquids * HCL (2.0 mol dm3) ...read more.

Conclusion

JUSTIFICATION * All other variables were kept constant and only phosphate level was varied, to understand the effects of the different concentrations on mitosis. This ensured that a fair test was carried out and that unbias and reliable results was recorded. * Several ranges of phosphate concentration used, to easily note the effect on mitosis. On one solution there was no phosphate tablet used, this was the control of the experiment, and enabled me to understand what happened in the absence of phosphate. Solution 10 was used to understand the effects of excessive phosphate on mitosis. * Volumetric flasks used to accurately ensure that volume of phosphate solutions was the same for all concentrations, ensuring accurate results. * Hydrochloric acid was used to break down calcium pectate of middle lamella allowing cells to spread out. * Acetic orcein stained the chromosomes making them visible under the microscope. * Roots were macerated to spread out. * Water was removed to prevent a precipitate forming when stained. SAFETY * Do not point scalpel at face or others. * Acetic orecin and hydrochloric acid are corrosive, use carefully. * Don't drop test tubes, glass may break of hot water splash. * Wear laboratory jacket to protect clothing. ...read more.

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