Testing the Effects of Radiation on Plants

Topics: Ionizing radiation, Germination, Radiation poisoning Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: October 25, 2012
Abstract
The purpose of this lab was to see if radiation has an effect on the cultivated radish seeds that we used. From the observed data that we collected, we were able to conclude that when seeds are exposed to radiation, it affects how they grow, if there is any growth at all.

Introduction
Radiation is an important environmental abiotic factor for plants, and one small section of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, is called the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), provides the energy to drive the light reactions of photosynthesis. Such radiation damages biological tissues by detaching electrons from the atoms that make up organic molecules. The results include radiation poisoning, cancer, and elevated mutation rates. Scientists use ionizing radiation to increase gene mutation rates in experimental organisms such as plants. The treated plants are then grown under selected environmental conditions in order to enrich the population with that mutant. The probability of generating “improved” mutants is low, and is what was observed in this lab using radish seeds exposed to various levels of high-energy gamma radiation (50-mrad, 100-mrad, 150-mrad, control). In this lab, there were four questions observed: 1.Does exposure to high-energy electromagnetic radiation have a measurable effect on radish seed germination rates? 2.Does exposure to such radiation have a measurable effect on radish seedling growth? 3.If you can demonstrate any effect, is it dependent on the level of radiation exposure? 4.Do individuals in the population exhibit variations in their tolerance to radiation exposure? First Hypothesis:

Ho: Seed germination has nothing to do with gamma radiation (50, 150, and 500) HA: Gamma radiation will have an effect on seed germination

Second Hypothesis:
Ho: Seedling growth will have nothing to do with gamma radiation levels HA: The gamma radiation levels will effect seedling growth differently, depending on the level. (50,...
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