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Chapter: Biology laboratory Practicals: Biology Activities

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Examination of Root Hair in Germinated Seeds

Roots of plants are responsible for absorption of water and mineral salts from the soil.

Examination of Root Hair in Germinated Seeds

Roots of plants are responsible for absorption of water and mineral salts from the soil. The roots have root hairs which are responsible in the absorption process. These are extensions of epidermal cells of roots. They are long and slender to provide large surface area for absorption.

Learning Objectives

To explain the functions of root hairs in absorption in the movement of water and mineral salts.

Materials

Bean seeds, maize grains, plastic bottles, water, and soil.

Preparation Procedure

1.           Cut plastic bottles to get six inch containers.

2.           Soak the maize grains and bean seeds in two separate clear plastic containers overnight.

3.           Remove the bean seeds and maize grains from the water and place them into two separate plastic containers with wet cotton wool.

4.           Leave the seeds for two days to allow them to germinate.

5.           Shift the seeds into another plastic container with soil.

6.           Make sure that the seeds are grown near the wall of the container to make sure that the roots will be seen from outside.

7.           Leave the experiment for three days to allow growth of the roots.

Activity Procedure

1.            Observe the root hairs of the germinating seeds through the containers.

2.           Draw what you have seen.

Results and Conclusion

You will see the root hairs through the plastic containers. The root hairs look like small white threads on the root tips.

Clean Up Procedure

1.           Remove the germinating seeds from the classroom and place them where there is enough light to be used for other experiments which require seedlings.

Notes

There are no root hairs at the tips of the roots. The root hairs develop after differentiation. There are a large number of root hairs to increase surface areas for absorption of water and mineral salts. The root hairs need to be observed without uprooting the seedling because they can be destroyed in the process of uprooting.

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