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EXPERIMENT 2 : GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

TITLE : STRUCTURE OF SEED


OBJECTIVES :
1. To study the structure of seeds
2. To determine the presence of nutrients in germinating seeds
APPARATUS AND MATERIALS :
1. Balance
2. Dishes
3. Razor blade
4. Test tubes
5. Test tube rack
6. Beaker
7. Bunsen burner
8. Microscope
9. Tap water
10. Green bean seed (dry)
11. Soaked green bean (soaked for 24-48 hours)
12. Soy bean (dry)
13. Soaked soy bean (soaked for 24-48 hours)
14. Benedicts reagent
15. Iodine solution

PROCEDURE :
1. An amount of dry green beans, soaked green beans, dry soy beans and soaked soy
beans were put in beakers (each beaker contains about 10 seeds). Then they were
weighed on the balance, and the weighs were recorded.
2. A piece of dry green bean was observed to study its structure. To view its structure
clearly, it was observed under the microscope. Then the structure observed has
sketched.
3. Step 2 was repeated for dry soy bean.
4. A piece of wet green bean was then observed with the naked eye, then using the
microscope.
5. After that, the seed coat of the wet green bean was removed, and the plumule, redicle
and cotyledon of the seed were noted.
6. Step 4 Step 5 was repeated for wet soy bean.
7. All for types of seeds were cut using the razor blade at the thin section of cotyledon.
Then, each section of the seeds was tested using the Iodine solution and Benedicts
reagent in test tubes.
8. Test tubes containing Iodine solution and the seeds were left for about 20 - 30
minutes, while for test tubes containing Benedicts solutions and the seeds were put in
beaker containing heated water, and also left in that hot temperature for 20 - 30
minutes.
9. The changes of the seeds after being tested were recorded.
RESULTS :
1. Mass of the seeds :
Seeds

Dry Green Bean

Soaked Green
Bean

Dry Soy Bean

Soaked Soy
Bean

Mass (g)

0.64

0.72

2.02

2.47

2. Results of Iodine and Benedict Test :


Green Bean
Dry
Benedict
s Solution negative
Test
Iodine

Positive

Soaked
Positive
Light green seed
turns to dark
green seed
Positive

Soy Bean
Dry

negative

Positive

Soaked
Positive
Pales yellow seed
turns to dark
green seed
Positive

Light blue-black
Solution
Test

presence at
some parts of
the seed

The blue-back
colour covers
the whole seed

Dark red colour


covers the
whole seed

Dark red colour


presence at
some parts of
the seed.

DISCUSSIONS :
This experiment was carried out to first, study the structure of seeds. Green bean and
soy bean were used throughout the experiment. Both seeds used were in dry form, and soaked
form. For the soaked form of seeds, they should be soaked in water for about 24 - 48 hours
before the experiment carried out. After the structure of the seeds had studied by observing
them with naked eyes and by using microscope for clear observation, they were then stained
in Iodine solution and Benedicts solution.
While observing the seeds, there are many structures that had been identified; as
shown on the sketches in the results. However, of all the types of seeds that had been
observed, the tiny hole that seeds should has, called the micropyl, it can only seen on the dry
soy bean, after observing it under the microscope. Since the hole is very tiny, it was very hard
to identify the micropyl. The hole is actually the pathway for the plumule and radicle to grow
when the seeds start to develop.
Besides that, the dry seeds and the soaked seeds had showed some differences. The
very obvious different between the two types of seeds is their coating and their hardness.
Soaked seeds had wrinkled coating, and softer in texture, making their coat easy to be taken
out and easy to split the cotyledons. Compared to the dry seeds, they are harder in texture.
Same goes to their coat, they almost cannot be taken out. To split their cotyledons, a razor
blade was needed, and this needs to be handled with a full concentration and care, to avoid
injuries.
On the other hand, the plumule of the soaked green bean had identified after taking
out its coat and split the dicotyledons into two. The plumule located at where the cotyledons
are attached. The seed has not really grown up, but this observation shows that the seed was
started to grow. The structure looks like a pair of leaf. Plumule is a collective name for the
epitocyl, young leaves and shoots apical meristem.
Next, to answer one of the questions in the Laboratory manual, after testing the seeds
by staining them in the Iodine solution and Benedicts solution to test the presence of starch
and reducing sugar respectively, the outcome of the test was slightly against the theory for the
Benedicts test. Theoretically, the outcome for both tests should be as shown in the table
below;

Seeds

Green Bean

Soy Bean

Dry

Soaked

Dry

Soaked

Benedicts solution Test

Positive

Negative

Positive

Negative

Iodine solution Test

Positive

Positive

Positive

Positive

When compared to the results of the experiment, the seeds which showed no reaction to the
Benedicts Solution are dry green bean and dry soy bean. While the soaked green bean and
soaked soy bean showed a positive reaction with the Benedicts. This shows that the results of
the experiment carried out against the theory. This may caused by some error. Such of the
errors is; the seeds had been soaked for shorter time that it should be soaked. Besides that,
they had taken out from the hot water in a rush. The Benedicts solution and the nutrients in
the seeds, especially the reducing sugar had not reacted completely.
On the very beginning of the experiment, the seeds had weighed all of them. This is to
compare the weight between dry seeds and the soaked seeds. Obviously, the soaked seeds had
greater mass than the dry seeds. This shows that water had been absorbed by the seeds.
Therefore, the mass of the seeds had increased slightly.
For the development and growth of seeds, they need nutrients including water. As the
basal cell of the zygote continues dividing, it eventually produces a thread of cells called the
suspensor. The suspensor functioned to anchors the embryo with the parent plant.
Furthermore, suspensor also acts as the root for the transfer of nutrients from the parent plant
to the embryo, and from the endosperm for some species of plants.
Seeds are protected against harm by its seed coat. The coat that had removed is the
seed coat. The seed coat originated from an unfertilized ovule. The structure of the
unfertilized ovule that eventually derives into seed coat; consists of outer testa and inner
tegmen is the layered integuments. By the time mitotic division of the nuclei completed, the
cell has grown to many times its original volume. At the same time, two outer layers of cells
ovules differentiate; that is integuments then forming seed coat.
Back to the Iodine test and the Benedicts test, they were used to test the nutrient
content of the seeds; in this experiment the presence of starch and reducing sugar. Iodine
solution was used to test for the presence of starch. Iodine reacts with starch. The test shows a
positive outcome when the reaction produces a purple-black or blue-black on the seeds. In
addition, the intensity of the colour produced decreasing with the presence of water miscible.
While for the Benedicts test, it tests for the presence of reducing sugar. Examples of
reducing sugars are monosaccharide, disaccharide, lactose and maltose. Positive outcome of
the reaction will obtain a red precipitate, or green precipitate, or yellow precipitate. This

shows that reducing sugar present. However, if no one of the precipitates obtained, this
concludes that there is no reducing sugar in the seeds.
Lastly, the advantage of using the seeds being in a dried-out state is this state keeps
the seeds dormant happily. Compared to the seeds lying on the soil, these seeds get a
continuous supply of nutrients, including water, which eventually will break this dormancy.
This shows that why is it necessary for the seed to absorb water before it can germinate.
Specific condition is necessary to break dormancy. One of the factors that can break this
dormancy is the continuous supply of water. As the dormancy had break, the seeds can start
to germinate.
As a conclusion, dry seeds and soaked seeds have some obvious differences in
structures. This is caused by the supply of water, which eventually wakes up the sleeping
seeds (dormant). The seeds supplied with water can be seen starting to germinate. The
nutrient content in the seeds, such as starch and reducing sugars also differ from each other.
CONCLUSION :
1. Seed coat, micropyl, radicle, cotyledons and plumule are the features of seeds
identified.
2. Starch present in all types of seeds, while reducing sugar present in soaked green bean
and soaked soy bean.
REFERENCES :
1. Campbell, BIOLOGY Eight Edition, Pearson Education, Inc.
2. INTRODUCTION TO PLANT BIOLOGY, Collins
3. www.seedbiology.de 12th Disember 2011