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Biology - Observing the Process of Guttation

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THE PLANT PHYSIOLOGY OF GREEN BEAN SPROUTS: OBSERVING THE PROCESS OF GUTTATION INTRODUCTION: How I came up with the idea of this investigation: There was a day when there was a mosquito flying near the plants in my house and I tried to catch it, so I found the nearest large plastic lid and placed it on top of the bamboo plant with the mosquito on its leaves. I accidentally left the lid on the plant overnight and the next morning, I finally remembered and when I lifted the lid, I saw drops of water on the bamboo leaves. Therefore, I recalled this incident when I was assigned the topic of observing plant growth and decided to research on the subject. In this self-directed study, I hope to be able to observe how higher and lower levels of humidity and transpiration can cause the green bean sprouts to exhibit the process of guttation, which is when the appearance of drops of water are exuded from the hydathodes at its tips. When a plant experiences a high soil moisture level, water will enter the roots of the plant because the water potential of the roots is lower than that in the soil. Next, the water begins to build up in the plant, resulting in a slight root pressure. Following that, the root pressure forces some water to exude through the tip of the leaf called hydathodes, which are often found at the end of vascular bundles. Guttation occurs when the atmospheric conditions cause a decline in transpiration and an augment in humidity; therefore, I hope to investigate whether the green bean sprouts placed inside enclosed containers will perform the process of guttation as the interior of the containers should contain a higher humidity and lower rate of transpiration. Problem: The purpose of this experiment is to examine how changes in the level of humidity and transpiration can cause the green bean sprouts to demonstrate the process of guttation where water is exuded from the hydathodes at its tips. ...read more.


Some may sprout on the day it is planted while others may take several days to germinate. * Each variable above has the ability to alter the development and growth of a plant; therefore, in order to ensure a fair test of the process of guttation in the plants, each plant must receive the same treatment. Methods of collecting sufficient relevant data: * The experiment is ongoing for 11 days, which should allow for the collection of enough relevant data a. Multiple trials should be able to verify that results are consistent and precise b. Repeating the experiment several times should ensure that the outcome is not a coincidence or accident * By using six plants (three for each category), there is a higher probability that the results will be reliable a. Observing more than one plant will allow for dependability of data b. Using more than one plant is a good idea as there is always the possibility that some plants may die midway through the experiment RESULTS - DATA COLLECTION: Quantitative Data (collected from observations): Plant in exposed container Plant in enclosed container Temperature 22�C 19�C Humidity 65% 103% Table 1. The differences of temperature and humidity between the green bean sprouts placed in enclosed containers versus those placed in exposed containers. NOTE: Plants A, B, and C are the ones placed in the enclosed containers and plants D, E, and F are the ones placed in exposed containers. Day 1 (31 May 2007): * Seeds placed into containers; no growth has taken place yet Day 2 (1 June 2007): * Watered plant at 6pm; no growth has been observed in any of the 6 plants Day 3 (2 June 2007): * Watered plant at 6pm; no growth has been observed in any of the 6 plants Day 4 (3 June 2007): Plant Beads of water exuded Height of plant (in centimeters) ...read more.


Since the green bean sprouts grown inside the enclosed containers grew much quicker than I had expected, I needed to transfer the plants twice-once from the plastic wrap container into the plastic container, and another time from the plastic container into the container with the detachable lid. This may have altered the initial results because the plant had undergone environmental changes although they may have been very subtle. By adjusting the plants environment, growth may have been interrupted. Perhaps an improvement for future experiments is to try and establish an environment for the organism and refrain from changing it as the change may have a harmful impact on the organism's growth or behaviour. Improvements or recommendations: For future experiments involving the use of a hygrometer or any other mechanical devices, I should standardize the apparatus before use in order to ensure a greater accuracy when measuring. This is important because numerical data is often a vital part of any scientific study. Perhaps an improvement for future experiments involving living organisms is to try and establish an environment for the organism and refrain from changing it as the change may have a harmful impact on the organism's growth or behaviour. I may want to further investigate on this topic and perhaps observe the green bean sprouts more than once a day so that I can examine whether the growth and behaviour of the plants may vary throughout the day. By examining the plant possibly three times a day will allow for a greater understanding of the processes in which the plants undergo. Under the topic of guttation, I may observe whether the hydathodes exude water at a different rate during different times of the day and whether the water exuded is always of the same content (level of salts, sucrose, etc). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the changes in the level of humidity and transpiration in fact caused the green bean sprouts to display the process of guttation. From this experiment, one can see that abiotic factors (atmospheric conditions) such as humidity are extremely prominent to plant growth. ...read more.

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