Experiment examining the effect of mineral deficiencies on plant growth.

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Shivalee Patel

Core Practical Write Up

Investigate the effect of plant mineral deficiencies


Dependant variable: we are going to be observing the changes in root length, plant body length, number of living leaves and colours of leaves.

Independent variable: we will be varying the mineral deficiency in the agar jellies. There will be five ager jelly dishes. There will be one dish containing all nutrients; one dish lacking magnesium; one dish lacking nitrogen; one dish lacking calcium; and one without any of those nutrients.

Controlled variables: We are going to be controlling the type of plant growing in the agar jelly. We are using Mexican hat plantlets for our experiment. The time between each measurement is going to be controlled, when one plant is observed all the other plants will also be observed so plants have equal amounts of time to grow.  

Hypothesis: From what I have learnt in class when a plant lacks nitrogen it should be unable to grow larger because amino acids production will be reduced. A plant lacking magnesium would be unable to produce chlorophyll therefore the leaves would become yellow coloured and not so green. The plant lacking calcium would have a stunted growth due to the role of calcium ions in the structure of the cell walls and membrane permeability. I expect the plant lacking all nutrients to have all three of these properties and possibly just die out completely. The plant containing all the nutrients should grow normally without many problems related to the nutrients.

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Key equipment: Solutions of different agar jelly plates lacking nutrients and one containing all nutrients; Standard lab equipment.


Here is a risk assessment table for the hazards associated with this experiment.

(0-5 = Safe experiment, 5-10 = Take Care, 10-15 = Teacher controlled, 15+ = Not safe)


Here are the observations I made observations:


The plant containing all the nutrients grew longer roots and body, after the 3rd observation we noticed the leaved had started to die and were ...

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


A good description of an investigation which produced unexpected results. Excellent risk assessment and a clear understanding of variables and relevant theory. More detail about the method would have been useful. 4 Stars