What's Wrong with the Plants?
Your team has been given two plants. One that appears healthy and one that appears unhealthy. In this portion of your investigation, by applying some of the same techniques used by plant pathologists, your team is going to investigate the possible cause or causes of your unhealthy plant.
1. Each team take 1 healthy and 1 unhealthy plant.
2. Using whatever will give you the best results, make External Observations of both plants. Write concise and detailed descriptions of your observations on the form provided.
A. To Observe the Leaves and Stems
Use a hand lens and/or dissecting scope.
B. To Observe the Roots
Carefully pull each plant from its pot. Gently clean off roots keeping soil in pot. Soak the roots in the designated water-filled buckets, cleaning as much soil as possible off the roots. Do not rinse roots in the sink. The soil will clog the drain. Use the dissecting scope to observe the roots.
3. Use the following Examination Methods and any others you may devise to make a more Extensive Examination of the plants. Write and/or draw concise and detailed descriptions of your observations. As you examine and compare both plants, THINK of possible causes of the disease-like symptoms.
4. When you have finished, place the plants in the designated containers and clean up.
5. Discuss your observations with your team and be ready to share your observations and ideas in a "Lab Meeting" with the whole class.
The University of Arizona
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
General Biology Program for Secondary Teachers