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Why would smaller seeds be more sensitive to saline water than larger seeds?

  1. Feb 19, 2009 #1
    So, we did an experiment where we exposed two different sizes of seeds to varying concentrations of salt water. The "small" seeds had, on average, shorter radicles than the larger seeds. So, it seems that smaller seeds are more sensitive to the saline solution.

    I'm just a little confused as to why. All the lit. I've looked at doesnt seem to explain why such a thing occurs. I've assumed that there is more NaCl per mass unit for the smaller seeds but, thats as far as I've got it. Please help and cite sources used, if any. Thanks,
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2009 #2
    Think about it for a bit.
    If you put a drop of saline solution in a cup of water and in a gallon of water, which one has the higher concentration of saline? Even if it's a drop, the cup of water has the higher concentration in comparison to the gallon.
    Same thing with the seeds
  4. Feb 20, 2009 #3


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    Your confused? I'm confused by your description.:confused:
    Were you exposing small versus large seeds (not seedlings) to differing concentrations of NaCl? You mention the small seeds on average, had shorter radicles. Was that compared to a control group of small seeds unexposed to NaCl? Same question goes for the larger seeds, were you comparing them to a control group?
  5. Feb 23, 2009 #4
    So, we were using ungerminated seeds for the experiment. The comparison to radicle length was made between the two types of seeds. The smaller seeds had longer radicles compared to the larger seeds; given equal exposure to an NaCl concentration.
  6. Feb 24, 2009 #5


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    If that's teh way experiment was done it doesn't prove anything. It seems rather obvious that smaller seeds will have smaller radicles and larger seeds will have larger ones, regardless of water used. That's why Ou asks about the control group - you should put identical small/large seeds in normal water to be able to compare their radicles with these of seeds put in salty water.
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