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A germination experiment that might be useful to some

Posted by TrpnBils 6B (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 2, 13 at 18:52

A student of mine came to me for some advice regarding a project he's working on this year and I thought you guys might get some use out of it. It involves germination times for pinto beans, but I'd imagine it could be used on other types of seeds too.

The project is finding the optimum pH and soaking time combination to get the earliest possible germination from seeds (see the picture below). In each test tube is 50 dried pinto beans. Each test tube rack represents a solution with a specific pH ranging from 3.0 - 11.0. The range of test tubes on the racks represent the time that the seeds are allowed to be soaked prior to germination (1hr, 2hr, 4hr, 8hr, 16hr, 24hr).

Serial dilutions of 3% acetic acid (vinegar) and a 0.1M sodium hydroxide solution to reach the desired pHs. To rule out problems with germination rate (since most seed samples won't have a 100% germination rate anyway) he is considering the trial group to be "finished" whenever half of the seeds have germinated.

I'm curious to see where this goes. I'll keep you posted if anyone is interested in seeing the results!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A germination experiment that might be useful to some

Really interesting, please do keep us posted. I have been reading about people using a combination of H2O2 and Potassium Nitrate to soak, with supposedly better-than-without results.

pH is an interesting variable too though. I don't claim to understand any of the science, myself.


RE: A germination experiment that might be useful to some

Will do - soakings were completed yesterday and each sample was drained, rinsed, and drained again to keep any residual effects of the acid/base to a minimum. Now they're sealed up and he's just waiting for them to start germinating.

RE: A germination experiment that might be useful to some

Sounds very interesting. I too, will be watching for your results. I try to do the best thing for my pole Limas.


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