Preparations for Future Exercises

Clickable Index of Future Preparations
Planting Seeds
Planting Leaf Cuttings
Preserving Fruit Juice
Stem Cuttings
Plant Hormones
Weed Control
Floral Preservation

This exercise is one of preparation and therefore will not be handed in at any time. Keep it in your notebook, and use it as directed by the instructor.

Biology is the study of life and, in order to study living organisms, we must grow them up to a suitable size for observation. At the beginning of the semester, we will do some mindless chores so that we will have growing plants to use in future exercises. Your instructor will demonstrate how to prepare soil and how to fill pots to receive plants or seeds to grow in the greenhouse. The instructor will also demonstrate how to put the pots onto the automated watering system in the greenhouse. It is your responsibility to be sure all of your pots are properly connected to the watering system! Be sure you know how to do this and check each new pot carefully before leaving the greenhouse!

I. Planting seeds

-3wk
-2wk
-1wk
A. Fill one pot with friable soil. Plant 10 bean seeds about 1 cm deep so that 1 cm of soil covers each seed. Label the pot with your group identification and "Plain Beans". Place the pot in the designated area of the greenhouse.
5/21/96B. Fill four plastic cups to within 1 cm of the rim with well-packed perlite (expanded lava). Label: 10x, 1x, 0.1x, and 0x with the marking pen. Also label each cup with your group identification. Water with the respective fertilizer solutions. Plant five radish seeds in each cup about 1 mm deep (almost on the surface!). "1x" is the manufacturer's recommended concentration of fertilizer and "0x" is distilled water. Place the cups in the specially-designated area of the greenhouse where the plants will only be watered with distilled water.
5/21/96C. Obtain three pots and fill each with friable potting soil. Label each pot with your group identification. Plant five radish seeds in each pot at a depth of 1 cm. Place the pots in a flat lacking drainage holes in the greenhouse as follows: Put one pot directly in the flat; label it "none". Place the second pot, labeled "five", inside five empty pots and put the stack in the flat. Place the third pot, labeled "ten", inside ten empty pots and put the stack in the flat. The flat will be kept level-full with water.
5/29/96D. Obtain two pots and fill each with friable potting soil. Plant seven dwarf pea seeds 2 cm deep in each pot. Label the pots with your group identification; mark one "light" and the other "dark." Place the pot marked “light” in the light in the greenhouse and place the other pot under the inverted black wastebasket under the benches in the greenhouse.
5/30/96E. Obtain eight pots and fill each with friable potting soil. Label each pot with your group identification. Label four pots with the words "pea stem growth - dwarf", label four pots with the words "pea stem growth - tall." Plant seven pea seeds 2 cm deep in each pot; be careful to plant only dwarf seeds in the pots labeled dwarf and only tall seeds in the pots labeled tall. Place the plants in the designated area of the greenhouse.
5/29/96F. Obtain four pots and fill each with friable potting soil. Label the four pots with your group name and the words "bean apical dominance" and plant ten kidney bean seeds 2 cm deep in each pot. Place the pots in the light in the greenhouse.
5/21/96G. Obtain three pots and fill each with friable potting soil to within 1 cm of the ridge (not the rim!). Label the pots with your group identification and the words "weed control." Count three groups of 25 radish seeds (accurately) and three groups of 25 popcorn seeds (also accurately). Distribute one group of radish seeds and one group of popcorn seeds over the soil surface in each pot. Cover the seeds with soil up to the ridge. Place the pots in the light in the greenhouse.
5/31/96H. Obtain four pots and fill partially with friable potting soil to within 6 cm, 3 cm, 1.5 cm, and 0 cm of the ridge, respectively. Pat down the soil to make the surface firm and level. Label the pots by distance from ridge and group identification. Count out twenty (accurate!) lettuce seeds and 10 tall pea seeds and distribute them over the surface of the soil of each pot. Then carefully fill each pot to the ridge with more friable potting soil. NOTE: the fourth pot will have NO additional soil and the seeds will be exposed on the surface!
5/21/96I. Obtain two pots and fill to 1 cm below the ridge with vermiculite (expanded mica = attic insulation). Plant mung bean seeds thickly on the surface; you should plant at least sixty (60) seeds in each pot! Cover the seeds to the ridge with vermiculite and place the pots in the designated area of the greenhouse.


II. Planting "Cuttings"

5/21/96A. Obtain three pots and fill them with friable potting soil. Label the pots with your group identification and the word "Cuttings". Put a band of tape completely around the rim of each pot and divide this tape into four equal sectors. Label each sector as follows: "Untreated," "Rootone F," "Hormodin #1," "Hormodin #3." You will plant four cuttings in each pot.

B. Make four leaf-petiole cuttings of Saintpaulia (fuzzy leaves), Kalanchoe (smooth leaves with scalloped margins) or Pepperomia (smooth leaves with smooth margins). Treat one cutting with Rootone powder, one with Hormodin #1 powder, and one with Hormodin #3 powder. Leave the fourth cutting untreated. The treatments are made by dipping the petiole in plain water, shaking off the excess water, dipping in the powder, and shaking off the excess powder. Plant the four cuttings of a particular species, one per sector by treatment, in an upright position in friable potting soil in one of the pots. BE CAREFUL to put the cutting in the sector of the pot labeled with its treatment! Repeat for the other two species.

C. Place the pots in the designated area of the greenhouse.


III. Preserving Fruit Juice

5/20/96Bring a bottle of pure (no preservative) bottled Fruit Juice to class to make some wine. Cranberry-grape has been excellent in the past.

A. Decant the bottle to the level indicated by the instructor.

B. Tape the cap to the side of the bottle for use during aging.

C. Tap a few granules of dry wine yeast onto the surface of the juice.

D. Put plastic wrap over the top of the bottle and secure it with a rubber band.

E. Label your bottle with your NAME, and put the bottle in the designated area.


IV. Stem Cuttings

5/31/96A. Prepare 4 small cups:
1. Label each cup with the treatment and your group name. The four treatments are: "0 M IBA," "10-7 M IBA," "10-5 M IBA," and "10-3 M IBA."

2. Put 20 ml of the corresponding solution into each of the four cups. Be careful that you use the correct graduated cylinder to measure this volume; even the tiny drops adhering to the glass would influence the concentration if you mixed up the cylinders. Read the labels and use the correct one. If you make a mistake, call the instructor immediately!

B. Retrieve your pots of Mung Beans in vermiculite from the greenhouse.

C. Carefully uproot the cuttings to minimize any damage to the stems. Examine the cuttings to find the cotyledonary node (maybe with shriveled cotyledons attached) and the two opposite pointed primary leaves at the node just above. Remove the cotyledons if they are still attached.

D. Using a razor blade carefully cut off the root system with a cut located 1 cm below the cotyledonary node. Immediately stand the stem cutting in one of the prepared cups. Continue this step until each cup contains ten stem cuttings. Put the cups in the designated area.

E. Return any undisturbed pots to the greenhouse. Put the used pot contents and any other plant debris into the compost bag as designated by your instructor. Clean up all vermiculite from the table surface (you might have to scrub a little). Remove all labels from the empty pots, rinse out the inside of the pots, and return the clean, empty pot to the designated area.


V. Plant Hormones

6/11/96
next year
do 1 wk
earlier
A. Apical Dominance in Bean Plants. The apex of a plant produces hormones that signal the lateral buds of the plant to remain dormant. Some time ago you planted some bean seeds in four pots labeled "bean apical dominance." Retrieve those pots now.
1. Observe how many plants are growing in each pot. Remove plants as needed so that the same number of plants remain in each pot. Selectively remove the abnormally large or small plants as you do this. When you are finished, the plants in each of the four pots should be about the same size and should be the same in number.

2. Mark the first pot "Intact Control."

3. Mark the second pot "Decapitated." Decapitate each plant in this pot as directed by your instructor. There should be an obvious terminal stem stub extending beyond the last node.

4. Mark the third pot "Decapitated + Lanolin." Decapitate the apical bud from each plant in this pot as before. Then, using a toothpick, apply a small dollop of plain lanolin paste to the terminal stem stub of each plant.

5. Mark the fourth pot "Decapitated + IBA." Decapitate the apical bud from each plant in this pot as before. Then, using a toothpick, apply a small dollop of 5000 ppm IBA in lanolin paste to the terminal stem stub of each plant.

6. Return your four labeled pots to the designated area.

6/6/96B. Stem Growth in Pea Plants. Gibberellic acid (GA) is a plant hormone involved with the elongation of stems. In tall varieties of peas much GA is produced by young leaves and it causes the stem to elongate. Dwarf varieties of peas produce very little GA. B-9 is a potent inhibitor of the natural production of GA in pea plants. Retrieve your eight pots of pea plants labeled "pea stem growth." This experiment must be carried out IN SEQUENCE as described below.
1. Label the first pot of each variety (dwarf and tall) as "Untreated Control."
- Return these two pots to the designated area.

2. Label the second pot of each variety "Water Spray."
- Spray the plants with detergent water until they drip with it.
- Return these two pots to the designated area.

3. Label the third pot of each variety "GA Spray."
- Spray the plants with 10-4 M GA until they drip with it.
- Return these two pots to the designated area.

4. Label the fourth pot of each variety "B-9 Drench."
- Water the soil in each pot with 75 ml of 0.5% B-9 Drench (2t/l). Add the solution slowly so it can be taken into the soil without running out the bottom of the pot.
- Return these two pots to the designated area.


VI. Weed Control
6/6/96Monocots and Dicots are differently sensitive to the hormone, auxin (IAA). This fact allowed scientists to manipulate this situation to develop selective herbicides (plant poisons). A very stable and potent synthetic auxin is 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Retrieve the three "lawns" of radish and popcorn you planted in pots some time ago; they are labeled "weed control."

A. Label one pot "Untreated Control," label another pot "Detergent Control," label the last pot "2,4-D plus Detergent." Be sure your group identification is also still printed on the label.

B. Observe each pot and count the number of radish and popcorn seedlings. Also notice the condition (leaf color) of both species:
Untreated Control: popcorn   radish  
number of seedlings  
leaf color  
Detergent Control: popcorn   radish  
number of seedlings  
leaf color  
2,4-D plus Detergent: popcorn   radish  
number of seedlings  
leaf color  

C. Return the Untreated Control pot to the designated area.

D. Place the Detergent Control pot in the designated sink. Spray all of the plants in the pot until they drip with the detergent water. Return the pot to the designated area.

E. Place the 2,4-D plus Detergent pot in the designated sink and spray all of the plants in the pot until they drip with the 2,4-D solution. Return the pot to the designated area.


VII. Floral Preservation

6/13/96A. Pressing flowers
1. Lay a piece of corrugated paper on the stack in the press.

2. Place a piece of blotter paper on top of the corrugated paper.

3. Place a piece of smooth paper on top of the blotter paper.

4. Place your specimen on the smooth paper. Write your group ID on the paper!

5. Carefully, place another sheet of smoth paper on top of the specimen being careful to have the flowers in a "natural" open position under this sheet.

6. Place a sheet of blotter paper on top of the smooth paper.

7. Place a piece of corrugated paper on top of the blotter paper.

8. When the press is loaded, the instructor will close and tighten the press and place it in an appropriate place for drying. Within a few days the flowers will all be dry and ready for mounting.

6/13/96B. Drying flowers
1. Partially fill the drying container with dried silica gel.

2. Insert the stem of a flower into the silica gel as deeply as possible. Be careful not to distort the flower.

3. Sift silica gel in and around the flower parts to fill the flower and bury it in the silica gel.

4. Label the container with your group identification.

5. Cover the container as directed and place it in the designated area. This drying process is finished in a day. The silica gel is rejuvenated for reuse by baking it in an oven.



The MLA citation style for this page would be: Koning, Ross E. "Preparations for Future Exercises". Plant Physiology Website. 1994. http://koning.ecsu.ctstateu.edu/plants_human/futureprep.html (your visit date).

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