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Effect of Inhibitors on Germination

Asked by Whisper447 | Apr 14, 2007 | A Level > Biology > Coursework
Whisper447 asks:

I have to plan an investigation to find the effects on extracts made from tomato fruits on the germination and growth of cress seeds.

I can use fresh or dried tomato's- which would be better to use? with polar or non-polar solvents. How do i measure teh change in dry mass of teh seeds before and after germination has taken place if it does.

How would I carry out this investigation? I understand i have to mash up the tomatoes in order to get the extract but would i use the whole of the tomato or just parts of it? Then would i simply add the tomato mash to a solvant and then add to to cress seeds and see which seeds germinate and which do not?

If anyone could help then that would be much appricated.

etutor answers:
Fresh tomatoes would be better - drying may affect the inhibitors. You can't measure CHANGE in dry mass, because measuring dry mass kills the seeds so it can only be done once - wet mass would have to be used (but that is a measure of growth, not germination). You should use the whole tomato unless you are investigating WHERE in the tomato a germination inhibitor might be. You would add the mash to water and use that to germinate the cress seeds (it might be useful to do a range of concentrations). You would record % germination of the cress seeds (unless you use exactly the same number of seeds each time, which can be tricky to count out (as you will need a lot of seeds).

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