INT1 Task 3
The Effects of a Seed Coat in Seed Germination
Seed germination is an important aspect in plants growth and food production. It is therefore it’s of uttermost importance to know the effective ways of seed germination so as to improve food production. This research was therefore prompted by the rising issue of farmers buying low quality and a damaged maize seed from unscrupulous sellers and this has led to deterioration in crop production. I feel that is very important to research on ways to improve food production and I will take it as my obligation to undertake a comprehensive research on seed germination. I hope the findings of this research will be of importance in equipping farmers with useful knowledge about maize seeds germination.
Germination is the process where a seed sprouts from an embryo and starts growing towards being a plant. Seed germination is important to plants, animals and human beings. Human beings and animals need food from plants to survive and plants need seed germination to grow. Basic requirements for seed germination include air, water and warmth (Bradford, 2007). Literature Review This research will focus on the impact of a seed coat towards maize seed germination. There are three types of germination, epigeal, hypogeal and viviparous. In epigeal, cotyledons grow outside the ground and are green and undergo photosynthesis. In hypogeal, the cotyledons remains submerged in the ground. Viviparous germination is common in areas with marshlands and salty water. In this unique germination, the seed germinated while still attached to the mother plant and segregates only after it reaches the ground (Bewly, 1994). This research will help determine whether the seed coat speeds up or slows down the germination process. It is important to carry out this research because it would help farmers know which is type of seed matures quickly for this will help them grow plants at a shorter span of time. The study will also help us determine whether the presence or absence of a seed coat in
germination will affect the quality of a plant or have any effects on yields Problem Statement
This research will address the plight of maize farmers who recorded low yields due to using maize seeds that had damaged seed coats. This will be of importance as the farmers will now have more knowledge in their choice of seeds. That will help them to maximize their yields which means higher profits to them and more food to the nation
My hypothesis is that the maize seed without a seed coat won’t germinate. The basis of my hypothesis is in the fact that, without a seed coat, the maize seed won’t be able to effectively hold the amount of water required for it to sprout. Lack of the seed coat also damages the endosperm that acts as the food store during germination due to exposure. I therefore hold the opinion that without a seed coat the maize seed is dormant and cannot germinate (Bradford, 2007). Experimental Design
These are the constants I decided to use in my experiment:
250 ml of water for each group
20 maize seeds
1 liter of clean water
1 petri dish
Put 50 ml of water in a petri dish and soak 5 seeds. Soak it for five minutes Remove the seed coat from the soaked maize seeds
Place the two maize seeds with the seed coat in one beaker
Cover the seeds in beaker using cotton wool up to ¾ of the beaker. Put 200 ml of water in beaker and make sure the cotton wool gets damp Place 2 dry maize seeds with the seed coat in the other container. Repeat the procedures 4 and 5 above
Label the two beaker, A for seeds with seed coats and B for seeds without seed coats Place them in an open shelf and leave them there for three days Add 200 ml of water in each beaker until the third day.
Check on the two beakers every day and using a ruler, measure the size of the sprouting plumule (shoot) on daily basis
Record your daily observations
Uncover them from the cotton wool after the fourth day and record the observations.
The initial objective was to establish if indeed a maize seed can germinate without a seed coat. The result showed that the two seeds that had the seed coats had germinated and the other two without the seed coat did not change. The plumule and the radical developed on the maize seeds with the seed coat but no observable change was recorded on the maize seeds without the seed coat.
This experiment confirms my hypothesis that a maize seed without a seed coat cannot germinate and therefore maize seeds should not be planted without a seed coat. The result of my experiment however raises my curiosity and I would like to know if I would get a different result if I were to use seeds of a different species. If I was to conduct the same research again I would consider using bean seeds and see whether the result would be the same or it would have a difference.
Reasoning from the findings of my research, I would advice farmers to check their maize seeds before planting and remove those with damaged or no seed coats and use the ones with healthy seed coats as it would boost their chances of survival. That would also increase their yields notably. The experimental design played a major role in the success of this experiment since the variables and tools were of the required standard and therefore contributed to the successful findings of this research.
For the sake of replication of this experiment by another student or researcher, we made it easy as we used locally available and inexpensive material. Maize seeds can be found in any grocery store or supermarket, Water can be sourced from taps in our home, rulers and scalpels can be bought from supermarkets and shop around us as well as the cotton wool. The beakers and the petri dish can be substituted by using drinking water glasses and a plate respectively. Therefore this is an inexpensive experiment that can even be carried out at home. There is no need of a laboratory. Any replication to this experiment would be an evaluation of validity because I carried out a thorough research and I also carried out two more simultaneous experiments using the same materials and procedure and I got the same result in all the experiments. In case of any other experiment on the same, the results should turn out to be the same with my findings if the researcher and student abide with the materials and procedures of this finding.
Bewley, J. D., & Black, M. (1994). Seeds: Physiology of development and germination. New York: Plenum Press.
Bradford, K. (2007). Seed Development, Dormancy and Germination. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.