hthsrochefall2018 project 1

Project by group hthsrochefall2018

Info

Explore In class, through Rf values, we discovered that although plant leaves were green, they also contained other pigments such as carotene. Outside on our field studies, we were able to observe that the dominant green pigment, chlorophyll a, began to break down in autumn as secondary pigment, like...
Research Question Our team would eventually like to investigate how many generations of selective breeding might be required to obtain a generation of plants with noticeable increases in anthocyanin production.
Predictions Anthocyanin is a pigment that can appear red, purple, or blue. Since the production of anthocyanin can be influenced by genes, we hope to manipulate the amount produced by selecting genes of certain plants to cross-pollinate, in our study. The production of anthocyanin is controlled by allele...
Experimental Design Our team plans to observe the anthocyanin production levels in the different generations of plants. We would start with 30 seeds of Brassica Wisconsin Fast Plant. We would plant these seeds in pots made out of water bottles. These seeds would have a consistent watering schedule. When the plants...
Conclusion What claim can we make from our experiment? What are possible explanations for our results? How do the data we collected and our reasoning with scientific ideas support our claim? What future experiments could be done to expand on the results of this experiment?
Investigation Themes
Class Level

Updates

Get to know your team’s scientist mentor, who will encourage and guide you through the scientific process of discovery. The more you share your ideas and research info, the more your mentor can help. You may also hear from a scientist mentor liaison who will be helping all the teams in your class.
PlantingScience Staff
said
Farewell and Best Wishes
As this research project is now in the final stages of wrapping-up, we wish to thank everyone who participated in this inquiry; the students, mentors, teachers and others behind the scenes. We appreciate all of your efforts and contributions to this online learning community.

Scientific exploration is a process of discovery that can be fun! There are many unanswered questions about plants just waiting for new scientists to consider, investigate, and share.

We will be archiving groups and projects on December 17, after which time new posts will not be able to be added. Please come back and visit the PlantingScience Project Gallery anytime to view this project in the future. You can search the Gallery by key word, team name, topic, or school name.

Good bye for now.
Warm regards,
The PlantingScience team
PlantingScience Staff
has been updated by administrator
PlantingScience Staff
said
Looks like you are in the final stages of your projects.
It’s great to see that teams from your school are wrapping up and posting conclusions. Enjoy the final stages of your project, and feel free to post any final comments or questions you have for your mentors.
Lily
said

Hi Heidi,

Sorry for this really, really late reply.

Thanks for guiding us through this experiment on anthocyanin! We decided to change the production of anthocyanin through selective breeding for our final experiment- hopefully, it will work!

Also, thanks for the comic, I really enjoyed learning about the complex microbiome that control plant behaviors. Again, thank you, and I hope that we can work together again!

Thanks,

Lily  

Lily
updated the project info
Lily
updated the project info
Megan
said

Hi Heidi,

I'm sorry for this late reply. Thank you so much for working with us and helping us develop our ideas. You were an amazing mentor and I learned a lot from you! We will be continuing with our experiment and thank you again for helping us!

Thank you,

Megan

Lily
updated the project info
Leanne
said

Hi Heidi, 

 

Thank you for your hard work this past marking period. You helped a lot in our brainstorming for possible research experiments! You gave us many ideas to look into, and the links you provided gave us food for thought.

 

It's been a pleasure working with you!

-Leanne

Leanne
said

Hi Heidi, 

So far, things are going well! As of right now, we think that we will be doing the anthocyanin experiment. Luckily, we have a spectrophotometer available to us, so we will be able to quantify the data. We did some research, and found that sunlight affects anthocyanin production. When we do the experiment, we plan on putting different sets of plants under different intensities of sunlight, then measuring the amount anthocyanin using the spectrophotometer. 

That's about as much as we have currently. I was interested in hearing your feedback! Do you have any suggestions or possible improvements for our experiment?

 

Hope you have a good day!

-Leanne

 

    Heidi Wipf
    said

    Hi Leanne,

     

    Thanks so much for the update!

    That's awesome you have access to a spectrophotometer to measure anthocyanin amounts, and that sounds like a good plan to test how different intensities of light will impact production of anthocyanin. I would just encourage thinking about the amount of plant tissue you will need (you can look back on past research/protocols published on what they recommend- as well as what parts of the plant you will harvest), how many replicates per light treatment you will need, and for how long do you want the plants to grow before harvesting the tissue. The more specific you can be, the better, as it allows others to know exactly what you did and that they could repeat your experiment in the future!

    Please let me know if you have any questions about the above, and excited to hear more as things progress!!

     

    Thank you again & all the best,

    Heidi

Heidi Wipf
said

Hey Team,

How is everything going? Thank you in advance for any updates!!
 

Hoping you have a nice weekend!
Heidi

 

Megan
said

Hi Heidi,

Sorry for the delay, but we've just recently met with Mr. Roche today to discuss the 4 Question Strategy. The strategy allows us to brainstorm experiment ideas. The first question requires listing the materials readily available for conducting experiments. The next question, "How does __ act?" is asking what the plants do. For example, they flower, grow, and produce seeds. The third question asks how we can modify or change the set of available materials to affect a specific action the plant performs. Lastly, the fourth question tackles the issue of how to measure the response to the change. 

This strategy is pretty useful. As of now, we are pretty intrigued by the anthocyanin experiment idea. Personally, I was wondering if we were to go through with the experiment idea of manipulating the environment to affect the amounts of anthocyanin, what specific materials would we need? Also, what factors in the environment would be ideal to manipulate to find significant change?

Similar to Lily, I was also shocked to learn that in sterile environments respond differently because of the presence of different microbiomes. 

I'll update soon! 

-Megan

    Heidi Wipf
    said

    Hi Megan,

    Thanks so much for the update!! 
    The 4 Question strategy sounds really great - it covers all the important bases and I'm glad you have been finding it pretty useful!

    To answer your question about what specific materials you would need for manipulating the environment to affect anthocyanin amounts:

    • Materials needed would include a way to quantify the amount of anthocyanin produced - most commonly, a device called a spectrophotometer is used, though sometimes a High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is used. Have you heard of these before? Leaf tissue is ground up and a liquid is added to better isolate the anthocynanins in solution, and this solution is then run on either of the above machines. 
    • Good question about what factors in the environment that would be ideal to manipulate! Can you think of what situation would cause plants to produce more of these compounds, where what would a very stressful situation for a plant?

    Hope you are all doing well and excited to hear more about what you decide for the experiments you will run!
     

    Best,

    Heidi

Heidi Wipf
said

Hi Team! 


I just wanted to check-in and see how things are going - are you amidst the planning stages for your experiment? Looking forward to hearing what ideas you have and questions you want to explore! Please let me know if you need any feedback or are unsure about any aspects


Best,

Heidi

Lily
said

Hi Heidi!

Thank you for sharing the comic with us!

I just read/watched the microbiome comic, and now I can blame these microbes for procrastination too!

In the comic, a slide that really stood out to me was the one where it said the organisms that are raised in sterile environments respond differently due to the different microbiomes. In our experiment with brassica, would it be possible to manipulate the environment so that it would consist of different microbiomes and as a result, it would produce different amounts of anthocyanin?

I’m not sure, but I saw in an article that anthocyanin is good for humans, would that be because microbes are able to digest it easily?

Additionally, going back to what you said on environmental and host factors shape the microbiome of crop plants, I was wondering if there is a goal or what efficient microbiomes should be like.

I hope that you have an amazing week too!

-Lily

    Heidi Wipf
    said

    Hi Lily!

     

    You're very welcome - I'm glad you got some good information out of the comics!

     

    That's a really great question - you could change the microbes you expose to Brassica - by means of using or mixing in different kinds of soils with the potting soil you might use (such as soil from a park, from different backyards, etc.) - and test whether you see differences in anthocyanin production. If there are changes in the amount of anthocyanins across the different soil microbes you expose the plant too, they might still be difficult to measure if it's only a slight change.

    A suggestion there might be to subject the plants to a stress by limiting or giving a lot more of one of their essential needs (such as water, light, nutrients), and then see if plants grow differently across the different soil microbe treatments, as well as measuring the amount of the pigment produced. 

     

    And that's a good guess about why anthocyanin is good for humans! A lot of research has shown that anythocyanins act as antioxidants, which help protect against damage occurring in our cells. Microbes may contribute to the damage, but a lot of times our cells produce damaging products when we just go about our day to day life and exercise, get some sun in, etc. Here is some more information about antioxidants if your curious! : https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/ ;

    Please let me know if you have any other questions!

     

    Yes, thank you! The goal with studying how environmental and host factors shape plant microbiomes is to determine if certain microbiomes are correlated with improved plant growth, yield, and/or stress tolerance. When we better understand how such factors impact the plant microbiomes, and in turn, the plants themselves, we can try to promote plant growth by adding in certain microbes that have been shown to be effective in doing just that!

    Thank you for the great questions!!

     

    All the best,

    Heidi

Heidi Wipf
said

Hi Team!

Thanks so much for all of your responses It's awesome that you are all so enthusiastic about science and learning, and I really enjoyed hearing about your neat hobbies and great ideas about how to spend a million dollars! 

And oh! I'm glad I can talk a bit more to you about microbiomes. Gut microbiomes do involve the bacteria that help us digest and get important nutrients from food - nice thinking Lily Our gut microbiomes can also significantly influence our mood! If you're interested in learning more, here is a fun comic that has been made about microbiomes: http://phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1874 (or find the youtube video version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjhDRG-mQ7w&vl=en) Please let me know what you thought about it if you do read/watch it! 

And that's a great question Lily, anthocyanin can be connected to and influence the plant microbiome! As you read, anthocyanin plays multiple roles in the plants, including with plant stress responses; because certain "good" microbes can increase stress tolerance in plants, they may reduce the amount of anthocyanins that are produced! Let me know if you can think of another way the two might be linked!

It seems like you are in the beginning stages of planning for your experiments - exciting! Please keep me updated as you progress forward :)
 

Thank you again, and hoping you all have a great start to your week!

Heidi

Megan
said

Hi Heidi,

Some of my favorite things to do include drawing, reading, listening to K-pop, and I also love to listen to podcasts (my favorite being Serial). So far, my favorite class is also biology because it is a more hands-on experience. I'm particularly interested in the field of biotechnology and I wish to learn more about it. I think science is a very unique field and it hold a lot of surprises that I enjoy reading and learning about. If I were to win a million dollars, I would definitely use it to travel around the world and to invest in stocks and bitcoin.

Like Lily, I have not heard of my gut microbiome, but I'm assuming it's the "biome" in our gut. :)

Adding on to Lily, we are researching Brassica plants and how to grow/nurture them so that we can develop an experiment using Wisconsin Fast Plants.

I really look forward to working with you too and have a nice Columbus Day!

-Megan

 

 

Leanne
said

Hello Heidi, 

Nice to meet you, too!

In my free time, I like to read, draw, and watch documentaries. I'm really interested in cars, so I would love to take a class that relates to automotive engineering some day. With a million dollars, I would probably donate a lot of it to cat shelters, then save the rest to pay off debt and buy cars when I'm older. Science is a topic I find really fascinating! It always excites me to read about new developments in the news, regardless of the branch of science. 

 

Looking forward to working with you,

Leanne

 

Lily
said

,

Lily
said

Hi Heidi!

It’s nice to meet you too!

Recently in class, we just learned about ecosystems and the nutrient cycle which is influenced by plants. I have never heard about my gut microbiome, would it be the bacteria which helps us digest?

While researching Brassica, I learned that anthocyanin is a pigment that is controlled by both genes and the surrounding environment; I am curious if the microbiome of a plant would also affect it.

 

Besides sleeping, some of my favorite things to do include reading, swimming, and origami. This year, a class that I enjoy is Biology, especially when we are allowed to observe nature outside. Last week, I found a purple mushroom which we identified as a spotted cort, which was really cool. I’m not sure what I would do if I won a million dollars, probably donate some of it to research and also use it to buy robots that could work for me :).

Overall, I think that science is an exciting field, and I look forward to learning more this year.

Have a great weekend!

-Lily

Heidi Wipf
said

Hello Lily, Leanne, Megan!
 

Apologies for my delay in responding this week -it's a pleasure to meet you, and I am very excited to work with you! I will be your scientist mentor for your project.

As a way of introductions, I wanted to share a bit about me and ask you a few questions to learn more about you three as well.

I am a graduate student - in 20th grade now! - at the University of California, Berkeley, studying how environmental and host factors shape the microbiome of crop plants. Specifically, I work with the crops sorghum (used as food, animal fodder, and biofuel) and wheat to answer questions regarding how drought and heat stress, as well as various farming practices, influence the communities of microbes (mainly bacteria and fungi) that associate to the plant!

Have you heard about your gut microbiome before? Plants also have helpful microbial components to promote their health, and we studying this in our lab.

A few questions I have that I hope you can tell me more about: 

  • What are some of your favorite things to do?
  • What is a class (on any subject/topic!) you wish you could take or that has been your favorite so far?
  • And if you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?
  • What do you think about scientists/science?

For me, outside of research, I love reading, listening to music and podcasts, going hiking/running, helping out with shelter animals, and more. A class I would love to take would be involve learning more about the native and edible plants in my area - Two things I would like to do with a million dollars is donate to non-profit environmental and/or educational organizations, and try to get my dad a ticket to space (when they are much cheaper!) or some other space memorabilia/experience.

Looking forward to hearing back from you and very excited to work with you all :)


All the best,

Heidi

Lily
said

Hi Heidi, I'm Lily. I am learning biology.

Leanne
said

Hi Heidi, I'm Leanne.

Megan
said

Hello Heidi, I am Megan.

Megan
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Leanne
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