|MadSci Network: Botany|
Different plants have evolved various genetic mechanisms that help trigger germination. Temperature sensitivity is one of them. Certain plants will not germinate unless they have experienced a frost. Others require a minimum temperature to begin the process. Each plant is different. On the other side are the effects of temperature extremes. As you heat or cool a seed, you may alter critical molecules like enzymes, and go beyond a critical temperature that will prevent germination.
You might begin by selecting a fast growing seed like peas. Any variety will do. Separate the seeds into a number of catagories. Assign a minimum temperature to each group. Use a difference of 10 degrees C to separate the different groups. Keep each packet of seeds at the given temp. for 30 min. Then germinate them and record the % of seeds which germinate. If you use 100 seeds in each groups, the calculations are easier. Chart the results.
You can vary this experiment by selecting the best temp. group and run another experiment varying only the time at that temp.
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