Growth of Brassica Rapa

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The purpose of this experiment was to inspect step by step the life cycle of the “Fast Plant” Brassica rapa. Another purpose of this experiment was to develop a better understanding of growth in plants. Meanwhile getting a closer look at their growth, students in the botany laboratory class looked at some genetic crosses and learned about the different traits passed on from one plant to another.

Methods and materials
The first lab students attended was August 26, 2009. In that lab, each one of them gathered the materials to plant the Fast Plants. The seeds were planted in a basic growing unit quad. Then they proceed to place a single wick into each small square in the quads about approximately 6 mm deep. About halfway of the squares were filled with soil. Next, a seed of Brassica rapa and three slow-release balanced fertilizer pellets where dropped into each small square. After the students placed the seeds and the fertilizers, each square was topped with more soil. Afterwards, each square was watered using a dropper until each wick was dripping. The quad was then placed in a growing platform under a light bank that provides continuing lightning essential for a successive growth. Each week when the students attended their lab they recorded each observation they might have seen in the Fast Plant Experiment Data Sheet located on the last page of the student lab manual (Discover the Chihuahuan Desert: General Botany by James C. Zech and A. Michael Powell). The following lab day was September 2, 2009, the Fast Plants showed improvement and growth of about an inch. If any student had more than one plant in the small square, they were told to cut it off because they only needed a plant per square. Then on to pollination, bees that had been raised specially to be pollinators were given to each student. They used the thorax, so the legs, head, and abdomen of the bee were removed. Afterwards the bee was glued to a tooth pick with some glue....
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