|Explore||Plants can grow over time by using resources such as photosynthesis and water (H2O). Due to plant pathogens there is a great threat to global agriculture. Some types of plants plague easily due to disease ,which can affect plants especially during post-harvest. Also plants can reproduce sexually and asexually. We know that most plant diseases are caused by pathogenic fungi,but viruses, nematodes (microscopic worms), parasitic plants,and bacteria also cause important diseases. Also, 70,000 plant species are used for medicine. Some questions that interest us about plants are “How long does it take for a plant to become diseased or infected by a certain bacteria or virus?” and “What makes plants likely to get a disease?” Potato #1 (Original Potato) produced inoculant Quantitative Decreased in size Squishy and Brittle Qualitative Brown water Moldy Smells bad Discoloration if potato (lighter) Potato #2 (Bleach Solution Potato) Inoculated 10/8 Injection of toothpick: 1.25 in Day 1 after inoculation: 10/9 Tender Pale tan color Same size Water droplets forming on plastic Day 2 after inoculation: 10/10 Tender Brown spot forming on pale tan skin Same size Water droplets forming Day 3 after inoculation 10/11 Discoloration on spots of paper towel Tender Same brown spots Same size Less damp paper towel Day 4 after inoculation: 10/12 Dark brown spots on potato Dark brown spots are soft Same size Smells like garbage Day 5 after inoculation: 10/13 Half soft rot Increase in dark brown spots 2 main soft dark brown spots Smells like inoculant Shrinking in size due to soft rot Day 6 after inoculation: 10/14 Completely soft 2 main dark brown spots Smells worse than inoculant Brown liquid forming in bag Continued to shrink in size Day 7 after inoculation: 10/15 Mushy and soft Almost completely dark brown Worse smelling than inoculant More brown liquid in bag Shrinking in size|
|Research Question||We want to test or study the effects of the inoculate on the new potato, to observe phases of rot and bacteria spread. We want want to know, "How can the incision depth affect bacterial infection in potato as quantified over time by the size (length, width, and circumference) of the potato?" This question fits with the topic because we know many plants rot and die due to disease in agriculture.|
|Predictions||Our prediction is that our potato will begin rotting over time due to the exposure to bacteria. We think this will happen because the bacteria can spread easily between plants and caused for a surplus of diseased and rotting agriculture. Also we think that due to incisions the deeper the incision is the more the potato will rot.|
|Experimental Design||Our research question for our experiment is "How can the incision depth affect bacterial infection in potato as quantified over time by the size (length, width, and circumference) of the potato?" We plan on testing this question by using 20 potatoes that will be inoculated at different lengths. Five potatoes will be used as our control group, no incisions will be made to these potatoes. The other fifteen will be split into 5 groups, varying in different lengths of incisions ( Bruised, 0.3125 in, 0.625 in, 0.9375 in, 1.25 in). The inoculant being used will be created by soaking a cut potato in water for 7 days. The inoculant is made by: 1. obtaining one unwashed potato and cutting it in half 2. Placing it into a zip lock bag, adding 50 mL of water and sealing shut 3. Placing the zip lock bag in another zip lock bag and storing in a room temperature environment for 7 days. After, the inoculant that is created from the potato will be transferred to a stable container. From there a toothpick will used to dip into the inoculant. Then the toothpick will be used to make four incisions on the potato, one on each side. Each group of potatoes will have a different inoculation length as stated before (0.3125 in, 0.625 in, 0.9375 in, 1.25 in).Observations will be made everyday on each potato and data will be collected for each potato each day. The experiment will last 7 days. One group will be brushed to mimic real life interactions with humans and potatoes during transportation, since another type of incision that is caused during transportation is bruising. Also the incisions will be used to mimic interactions with humans and potatoes during transportation. We will be be collecting Qualitative data (Color change,Feeling ) and Quantitative data ( Smell scale 1-10, Size of potato) along with the length, width, and circumference of each potato. The controls for our experiment are same type of potato, environment, temperature, and time (How long the experiment last). The independent variable for this experiment is the depth of inoculation and the dependent variable is size of potato. Our materials list for this experiment are: 30 Potatoes, Inoculant, Toothpick, 10% bleach solution, Zip-lock bags, Wet paper towels, Sealable container, and a Ruler. Photos will also be taken each day for each potato to show changes over time. After the experiment is over the initial and final measurements will be used to calculate the average percentage of change for each group.|
|Grade Level||High School Students (Grades 9,10,11,12)|
|School Name||California Academy of Mathematics and Science|
|About this Project||
The students in this team communicated their ideas clearly to their mentor, who provided excelletn feedback and suggestions, which the students followed and improved their project. They didn't fall in love with their original design, but were flexible in understanding the need for an adjustment.