In this extended essay I am looking at the effect of different kind of music on same species of plant. I will take Chickpeas (gram seeds) to perform a lab showing the effect of music on them. I will choose four different situations to see the effect of mu

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Chandralekha Tiwari        Extended Essay, C. Robson        Nov. 26, 11

Music affecting the Plant Growth


Introduction: Once I was searching on internet on how music affects human mind, but at that time I found something interesting, I found an article saying music affecting the growth of the plant. Then I thought if music can affect human brain then it can be true that it affects plant growth. Then I came up with the idea of performing the experiment to find the answer for my curiosity. I tried to find the answers by using chickpeas and exposing them with different genres of music for some interval of time.        

        I think the experiment which I have done is important because by doing this experiment I am able to prove that classical music or any other soothing music helps every living organism to grow and make them calm. But people especially teenagers; in this generation prefer listening to modern music like rock music, even though it can harm them in lot of different ways. Also the population of the world is increasing at an enormous pace and lots of people are using automobiles, which are damaging our environment in many ways, but some of them are by polluting the atmosphere and spreading noise pollution which tremendously affect the plants in many aspects.

In this extended essay I am looking at the effect of different kind of music on same species of plant. I will take Chickpeas (gram seeds) to perform a lab showing the effect of music on them. I will choose four different situations to see the effect of music on plant. These four different situations are the kinds of music that I will play on the plants. They are classical music, rock music, traffic noise and no sound. I have chosen Bach for classical, Master of Puppets for rock, and traffic noise. First I will take twenty seeds of chickpeas and divide it into four groups. Then I will germinate them placing them in cotton, soaked in water. At the same time I will write the name of the music on each group and will play the same kind of music written on the plate. I will play music on each group of plant for three hours a day. I will keep the plants that come in no sound group in an isolated room where all the conditions are similar to others but sound cannot be heard from there. Then when I will see the radicle germinating, I will place those germinated seeds in a cup, filled with soil and will play the kind of music written on the cups. Once the germinated seed have started to grow as plant I will start measuring the length of the hypocotyl/ stem. I will play the music every day and will record data every day. I will take photos on different days to show the progression in the growth of the plants.

Research Question: How does music/sound affect the growth or germination of chickpea (gram seed) plant?

Background Knowledge: In my extended essay since I am looking at the effect of music on the growth of the chickpea (gram seed) plant, thus I will first talk about the germination of the seeds and the factors affecting the growth of a plant. Germination in plants is the process in which a seed initiates to sprout and grow into a seedling under the appropriate growing circumstances. It is the development of an embryonic plant enclosed within a seed. The seed of a higher plant is a small package produced in a fruit or cone after the fusion of male and female sex cells. All entirely matured seeds contain an embryo and, in most plant species some have stores of food reserves, wrapped in a seed coat. Some plants produce varying numbers of seeds that lack embryos, such type of seeds are described as empty seeds, and never germinate. Most seeds go through a period of dormancy where there is no active growth; during this time the seed can be securely transported to a new position and/or survive adverse climate conditions until circumstances are favourable for growth. Dormant seeds are mature seeds that do not develop because they are subject to external environmental situations that avoid the beginning of metabolic processes and cell growth. Under favourable circumstances, the seed initiates to germinate and the embryonic tissues resume growth, developing towards a seedling. Dormancy can occur in both plants and seeds. In plants dormancy is a survival strategy which enables them to survive under unfavourable conditions. In the same way dormancy in seeds refers to the strength of the seeds which helps them in tolerating the adverse period of time. Every living thing that performs dormancy has a biological clock which tells them when to slow down their activities so that they can prepare their soft tissues for dormancy. It also tells them when the right time to stop dormancy is.  

                      General Picture of Embryo      General Picture of seedling


During germination, the seed swells up and seed coat gets soften. The radicle extends and grows into a root which then provides sufficient nutrients to the seeds so that it can separate its two cotyledons. The new leaves will then come out of the seed and start providing food to the entire plant and helps in the formation of the stem and leaves, which gradually forms a complete seedling.

The most important thing in the process of germination is the presence of the suitable factors that can affect the growth of a plant in a wide range. Of all the factors affecting the plant, water (H20) is the one of the most important factors. All seeds need water for germination. Many mature seeds are very dry and need to rehydrate their cells. The intake of the water by seeds is described as imbibition, which leads to the swelling and the cracking of the seed coat. Some seeds contain a hormone that slow downs germination and water is needed to wash it out of the seed. Germination involves growth of embryo root and shoot and this also requires water.

“The metabolism rate of a dry and dormant seed is close to zero, but after the absorption of water, metabolism processes begin again, including energy release by aerobic cell respiration. Another requirement for germination is therefore a supply of oxygen” (O2) (Allot and Mindroff). Oxygen is a vital need for the germinating seed for metabolism. Oxygen is found in the soil pore spaces and if a seed is covered too deeply within the soil or the soil is covered with a lot of water then the seed can starve for the oxygen which can result in the death of the embryo. Several seeds have water-resistant seed coats that stop oxygen from entering the seed, causing a sort of physical dormancy which is broken at the time when the seed coat is sufficiently worn away so that the seed can allow the exchange of gas and water intake from the environment. Because germination involves enzyme- catalysed metabolism reactions, warmth is also required. Germination often fails at low temperatures. Seeds from different species and even seeds from the similar plant grow over a large variety of temperatures. Seeds often have a temperature range within which they will sprout, and they will not do so above or below this range.                                

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“Another metabolic process occurring at the start of germination is synthesis of gibberellins, a plant hormone which activates the cell elongation by stimulating cell division and elongation. Several genes have to be expressed to produce the various enzymes of the metabolic pathway leading to gibberellins. This hormone stimulates mitosis and cell division in the embryo. In starchy seeds it also stimulates the production of amylase. This enzyme is needed to break down starch in the food reserves into maltose. Other enzymes convert the maltose into sucrose or glucose. Whereas starch is insoluble and immobile, sucrose and glucose can be transported ...

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