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Observing mitosis *warming is done after staining to intensify the stain

To see mitosis in action you need to look at living cells. *rounded tip contains the actively diving cell and so does
Garlic bulbs grow roots that have actively diving cells in the white tips than the brown ones.
their tips. Each cell has only eight chromosomes so it is Mitotic index = number of cells showing stages of
relatively easy to see the chromosomes once they have mitosis
condensed.
total number of cells in the field of
In order to see the chromosomes inside the cells, the cells view
must be separated and spread out in to layer that is ideally
just one cell thick. Plant cells are glued together by the Explain how you ensure, or could ensure, that the
middle lamella of pectin proteins. Hydrochloric acids will results are reliable and valid.
break down the pectins that hold the cell together. Reliable results are produced when repeated measurements
give similar values. Students need to explain that they have,
1. Cut 1-2cm of the tip from a growing root, e.g. Garlic or could in the future, take repeated measurements and
2. Place the root tip on a watch glass and add one drop of calculate the mean.
warm hydrochloric acid and leave it for 5 minutes. * Valid results measure what they are supposed to do. Validity
3. Add 10 drops of toluidine blue (or acetic orcein) can be ensured by carefully using an eye piece graticule
4. Warm the watch glass on a hot plate for 5 minutes. * which has been calibrated correctly using a stage
5. Cut about 4-5mm from the growing tip, keep the micrometer.
rounded tip and discard the rest. *
Suggest a reason for having very few dividing cells in
6. Place the root tip on a microscope slide and using a
your root tip.
mounted needles break open the root (maceration).
The actively diving apical meristem of the root was not
7. Cover with a coverslip and blot well by placing the slide
being viewed. The root used no longer had dividing cells.
between the fold of a filter paper.
8. Press gently on the coverslip using your thumb to spread Safety precautions
out the root tip. Wear eye protection
9. Observe under the microscope and look for cells Toluidine blue will stain skin and clothes
undergoing mitosis. Orcein ethanoic stain is corrosive, cause severe
burns, has an irritating vapour and stains
Notes:
If contacted with the skin immediately wash
*hydrochloric acid is used to break down the pectin in the thoroughly for 10 minutes
middle lamella so that the cells will slide past each other
when squashing