The Effect of Spacing and Quantity of Pearl...

Project by group aeshsinselbergerfall2021

Explore Seeds are the result of pollination and fertilization. Pollen is the male gamete and the female gamete, and/or egg is created in the ovule of a flower. Pollen is produced in the anther of a flower. Pollen goes from the anther of the flower to the stigma of a flower. From the stigma, the pollen goes down the style and eventually reaches the ovary of a flower. This sperm cell then travels through the pollen tube into the ovule. Fertilization then happens when the sperm cell fertilizes the egg, forming a zygote/plant embryo. With the embryo being inside the ovule, the outside of the ovule hardens into a seed. Germination is the process in which a plant begins to sprout out of the seed that had encased it before as it begins to mature into the next step in its life cycle as a seedling. Germination is often triggered by and requires water, correct temperature, and oxygen to happen. The seed will only begin to germinate and sprout under these conditions as the embryo within the seed is protected from the elements as long as it stays within the seed, however when the environment is fit for growth germination will occur allowing for the plant to further develop. Without water the seed can not begin to grow or break through its own coating to become a seedling, without oxygen the metabolic functions of the plant can not occur and without the correct temperature the growth rates and rate of metabolism are compromised, this is why these are the necessary factors for germination. The independent variable we chose for this experiment was the quantity of pearl millet seed grown within a certain amount of space. This independent variable would entail placing one ziploc bag with 5 seeds and another with 10. We chose this as from past experiences we had observed that it seemed plants naturally spaced themselves out as to not fight for resources required for germination or growth. We then wondered if perhaps by growing more seeds in a close proximity, it may lead to less growth overall as fewer of the plants might germinate or have the necessary resources to thrive. However we also wondered if it might promote further growth as plants in close proximity may have to spread their roots further to get a better chance at taking in water to survive. The type of seed that we decided to use in this experiment is called the Pearl Millet, also known as the Pennisetum glaucum. It is a major cereal crop in west Africa and widely grown in eastern and southern Africa. Pearl millet is very beneficial and helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is also high in fiber which in turn, slows down digestion and releases the glucose into the blood at a slower rate, thereby helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels for a comparatively longer duration of time. Pearl millet is also used in baking, by grounding it into the flour it can be used in making various baking products like breads, cookies, muffins, and biscuits. It has a low glycemic index and therefore it can be used as an alternative for weight control and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. When turned into flour, the pearl millet is rich in B vitamins and folic acid and can improve hair quality, preventing hair loss.
Research Question What will be tested is whether or not on average 5 pearl millet seeds in a ziploc bag will grow faster than 10 seeds in an identical ziploc bag, essentially our question is what effect on growth does the quantity of seeds in an enclosed space have? This Independent variable was chosen as we believe from past observation and simple reasoning that more seeds in an enclosed space will result in less growth on average, however it is important to test this before we make any faulty conclusions. This research question deeply relates to our own experience with growing plants in the classroom as proper spacing is often stressed when growing such things as Marigolds and Zinnias, it also stems from our understanding of how seeds work, that many seeds are small and carried by the wind to space them out so that they needn’t compete with each other. We want to figure out if this rule of having to space out plants applies to Pearl millet and if spacing really does directly affect growth.
Predictions If we double the number of seeds in the bag and decrease the spacing of the seeds, then the bag with 10 seeds will grow less than the control group with only 5 seeds over 12 days.
Experimental Design Hypothesis: If we double the number of seeds in the bag and decrease the spacing of the seeds, then the bag with 10 seeds will grow less than the control group with only 5 seeds over 12 days. Control group: Bag containing only 5 seeds Experimental group: Bag containing 10 seeds Independent variable: A decrease of space and quantity of radish seeds Dependent variable: The amount of growth the pearl millet will display Constants: Equal access to light, watered at the same time (once every 2 days for 6 days a week), watered with the same volume of water (30 ml), and the same species of pearl Millet. Sample Size: 5 seeds and 10 seeds Trials: 1 trial (over 12 days)
Conclusion Conclusion: A. The results of our experiment showed that the average growth of seeds over 12 days was higher in terms of the bag with 10 seeds, therefore the hypothesis was not supported. B. What the results mean fundamentally are two things, that pearl millet seeds grown in closer proximity and in higher numbers will not grow more or less than pearl millet seeds grown in lower numbers in a more spaced out environment as long as both groups have access to constant sunlight and water. However due to an error on our part, two IVs were introduced that are spacing and quantity so we can not definitively make any broad claims on either IV as whatever we view might be the result of interference with the other IV. For this reason I believe that we obtained these results because the environment we simulated was rich in resources for growth such as water and sunlight so there was no need for the plants to compete with each other and because of our introduction of two IV’s which obfuscate the ability to make any one definitive claim. From this my partner and I have learned for the future to ensure only 1 IV is used. C. Two strengths of our experiment includes our accurate measurements of both spacing, plants and water as all of these were kept constant throughout the experiment, another strength of our experiment was in our choice of seed, pearl millet as a seed worked very well for our intended experiment as due to its fast growing nature we were able to observe a drastic rate of growth which assisted our experiment more so than a slower growing plant might. D. A way that we could improve this experiment would be to have OVERALL equal spacing between each seed, this is because the spacing affects the growth of the seeds and if there is unequal spacing then the results will be inadequate and inconsistent. In the future there needs to be specific measurements taken of the space between the seeds which in turn needs to be maintained throughout the experiment. Also during this experiment there was not an equal amount of time in between taking the measurements, in the future there should be equal increments of time.
Investigation Theme WOS
Grade Level High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)
Teacher Name Amy Inselberger
School Name Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Session Fall 2021