Wisconsin Fast Plants Network

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Here's an interesting question from a grade 4 classroom who is doing some great critical thinking!

My 4th Grade science class has been conducting investigations on the "triggers" for germination of RCBr. They have determined that water and temperature are the critical germination triggers that activate the embryo. A question arose as we were analyzing our data that they would like to ask: Do you have a means of determining if the embryo is still alive without actually trying to germinate the seeds? The question came out after our seeds spent a week in germination chambers @3°C without germinating. The students wondered if the refrigeration had killed the embryos or if they were still viable. To test this, they moved those seeds to germination chambers @30°C and 22 of 24 seeds germinated. We look forward to your reply.

Thank you,
mw and his 4th Grade Sci Class

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There is such a great video about our dependence on plants, seed storage and the need for regular viability testing at the Millenium Seed Bank on Ted.com!
I work with the same age kids, and one of my students found and shared this article from OSU on testing seed germination more quickly when we were growing Fast Plants. Hope it is helpful to you (we found it to be a smidge technical for our use).
Your students ask some really interesting questions!




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