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Osmosis is known to be a diffusion process “related to the concentration gradient and to vapor pressure gradient across the membrane” (Howlett 53). This phenomenon may be discussed in many contexts, and germination is one of them. Germination experiments aptly illustrate the key characteristics of osmosis and demonstrate that it can occur at different rates, and the primary factor is the substance.
The Processes Associated with Seed Germination
In order to interpret the results of the experiment and explain predicted differences in the studied groups, one should pay attention to the essence of germination. When the conditions are favorable, i.e., the temperature is acceptable, and a seed is supplied with water, it transfers from the dormant state. It is possible to single out several stages of seed germination.
First and foremost, the dry seed starts imbibing (consuming) water and expanding; as long as enzymes and food supplies become hydrated, enzymes become active: the seed increases its metabolic activities, and the energy for the process of growing is produced (Bradbeer 18). Water plays an important role: turgor pressure inside the cells starts raising, and seeds can gradually grow in size. On the second stage, respiration is the most significant process. As the seed is provided with oxygen, its respiration changes from the anaerobic to the aerobic type. Water sloppily is also important. During this stage, the radicle and the plumule appear. On the final stage, the cotyledons are expanded (Bradbeer 34).
Treatment and the Expected Effects
The experiment will be carried out on 20 seeds that will be placed in different conditions. The treatment will include wetting the towels in which the seeds will be put with different liquids. It is expected that such treatment will create the favorable conditions necessary, as it has been stated above, for the seed germination. In this context, water becomes the most important component since the beginning of the germination is triggered by it. The effects of the distilled water are expected to be the most visible. This claim can be supported by the fact that the influence of osmosis makes a great impact: in the case of distilled water, nothing prevents seeds in the dormant state from interaction with water at the molecular level. In other words, water that does not contain any additional substances directly affects the seeds. It may be expected that the seeds placed in the towel imbued with water will germinate faster than those placed in different condition: probably, this process will take a day. Other liquids that contain a wide range of molecules will be less advantageous for the seeds. It can be explained, again, by the phenomenon of osmosis. To germinate, seeds should interact with water, but other molecules not only produce zero effect but also hamper the process because precious time is wasted on unnecessary interaction with useless substances. As a result, the germination will take place, but it will happen later than with distilled water.
The Purpose of the Experiment
The present experiment is to be conducted to explore the factors that should be taken into account during seed germination and explain them from the scientific point of view using the background knowledge of osmosis and seed germination stages. In this respect, water is the most important factor the influence of which is to be studied in the experiment.
Bradbeer, J. W. Seed Dormancy and Germination. New York: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013. Print.
Howlett, Larry. Osmosis: The Molecular Theory. San Francisco: EBookIt, 2014. Print.