Growth of a Rapid Cycling Brassica

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The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate the totipotency of cells, and how this enables them to take on new functions when it is required for them to do so; In the case of this experiment, the cells of the Brassica plant will have to adapt to form roots and new stem material etc, in order to grow. I hypothesise that this will be exactly what happens and the plants will grow as they normally would under natural circumstances and conditions.


Time taken for Brassica to grow – Dependent
Height of Brassica – Independent
Temperature – Controlled

The temperature of the room will be controlled as they are where that plants are growing is at room temperature (about 20ºC) and they will not be removed from that spot for the duration of their growth. The time taken for the Brassica to grow is dependent as the plants have a specific time period in which to grow, during which the heights and corresponding times of growth are recorded. The height of the Brassica is an independent variable as it is the measurement being recorded to demonstrate the theory formed in the hypothesis.


• Agar Powder
• Distilled Water
• McCartney Bottles
• Brassica Seeds
• Scissors

Diagram of Apparatus:


• Place some Rapid cycling Brassica seeds onto a damp sponge placed in a plastic tray. Cover with cling film and place in a warm, light place to germinate.

• When the seeds have germinated, they are ready to culture.

• Measure out 2.5 g of agar powder and add to 250 cm3 of distilled water. Heat and stir gently until the agar dissolves.

• Whilst the agar is still molten, pour about 2 cm into McCartney bottles. Leave to solidify.

• With some scissors cut the tops off the seedlings just below growing tip. Leave the rest of the germinated seeds on the sponge.

• Carefully push the cut end of each shoot into the agar. Put one shoot...
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