Biology Honors/ 1A
10 April 2013
The seeds of summer squash (Cacurbita moschata), beet (Beta vulgaris), and pepper (Capsicum annuum) are all dicot plants, which mean that they have two seed leaves inside the seed coat. When they are placed in an environment and are watered with solutions of different acidic and alkaline levels, the root growth during germination is affected. The purpose of this experiment was to observe what type of substance, acidic or basic, increases the growth of roots during the germination process of Cacurbita moschata, Beta vulgaris, and Capsicum annuum. Previous research has shown that water with a rather neutral pH level of 7 is best for plant germination and growth and that pH levels more acidic or basic did not show much plant germination. The hypothesis was that if the acidity or alkalinity is varied in water to change the pH level, then the then the Cacurbita moschata, Beta vulgaris, and Capsicum annuum root length and plant growth will be less than the root length and plant growth of the seeds watered with the neutral pH of 7 because the intake of either OH- ions, if basic, or H+ ions, if acidic, will be increased, which diminishes the nutrients needed for a seedling to germinate. The hypothesis was tested by placing Cacurbita moschata, Beta vulgaris, and Capsicum annuum seedlings into petri dishes that were watered with lemon juice (pH 2), vinegar (pH 3), milk (pH 6), water (our control with a pH of 7), baking soda (pH 8), and milk of magnesia (pH 9.5). While the seedlings germinated in the petri dishes, root length was measured along with the day the seedling germinated. After the root lengths were gathered, they were analyzed and compared to each other to show what pH level expressed the best results. The significance of this study was to better understand how plant and vegetable seedlings tolerate various levels of water pH. Root length analysis showed that water with a rather neutral pH...
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