Well looks like it is the end of a journey of many moons. Mandragora died for what he believed in but his son, Mandrake, prevailed and avenged his fathers death! Yes my first bean plant did not grow either because I watered it too much or due to bacteria because when I checked it last it had white goo and mold growing on it. However I grew a new bean plant by putting it in a wet tissue for a week and now its growing fine. Sadly I can’t provide you with a picture because our camera is broken. While this plant is growing it will have many leaves and then a flower will pop out. this flower will fertilize itself and turn into a bean pod. The seeds in this bean pod will drop out and grow to be their own bean plant. It was a really interesting journey taking care of this bean plant, but for now its time to say goodbye to plant blogging.
Do we need plants? The answer is obviously yes. We use plants for a huge amount of reasons. For example, one of those reasons is one of the things that is essential to life, food. Yes plants provide us with food which translates into nutrients for our body. These nutrients provide us with energy that keeps us going, living. Another very important reason is for health. Plants are used to make all types of medicines, vaccines, and cures. Medical researchers find ways to use plants to heal us from all types of diseases and sicknesses. The research for new types of medicine from is still ongoing. Another important reason is for oxygen. Plants are the largest producers of oxygen on earth. The carbon dioxide that every human on earth breaths out is turned into oxygen by plants. Its almost silly to say we need oxygen because you’re using to read this blog right now. Its kind of obvious. There are many other uses for plants which range from spices to increase the taste of our food, to just making the environment look more pretty.
As you may have guessed by the title of the blog, plants can help prevent erosion. Erosion is caused by moving water rubbing against earth or rocks for a certain period of time causing the the substance to loosen up and move away with the flow of the water. This is how rivers, streams, lakes, etc. get larger and larger. Plants however can prevent this from happening. A plant has to have water and nutrients to live. To get these resources it uses two main parts of its structure, its leaves and roots. The roots of plants can grow into big complicated patterns through out the soil. These roots help the plant stand up straight by gripping the soil. This also causes it to hold the soil together. In situations where water is flowing by a plant near a river, the plants roots would hold the soil and the water would not be able to drag the soil away. Erosion however, does not only occur by river and streams. Plants everywhere help prevent erosion from rainfall. This can prevent environmental disasters such as land slides. Plants also provide cover for the soil from harmful damages such as rain or the sun’s heat.
- Plants prevent erosion :).
The rest was Me, Myself, and I
The circulation system of plants and humans are similar to each other since they both transport nutrients throughout the human body. As humans we have arteries and veins that carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells and disperse of wastes and carbon dioxide. In a plant the xylem transports water and minerals through out the plant while the phloem transports sugars and nutrients. A plant also has vascular cambium. This can be seen as a ring shape if a plant is cut on the stem. The vascular cambium helps the plant grow. The term venation has meaning both in botany and zoology. In botany it refers to the arrangement of veins in a leaf. These veins help transport nutrients to and from the leaf of the plant. In zoology, venation refers to the system of venous blood cells in an animal or human. As mentioned before these venous blood cells help transport nutrients just like in plants.
A diagram of a plant's vascular system.A diagram of the human circulatory system.
A scientist decides to test out the results of crossing tall bean plants with short bean plants after he hears that tallness is a dominant trait in them. If he crossed 50 pure tall bean plants with 50 pure short bean plants, what percentage of the offspring would be tall? Show P1 and F1 genotypes and phenotypes.
Let T rep. tall bean plants
Let t represent short bean plants.
TT x tt
Phenotypes: Tall x Short
Genotypes: Homozygous Dominant x Homozygous Recessive
Tall x Short bean plant cross
4/4 All Tall
Therefore, since pure tall bean plants crossed with pure short bean plants, all of the F1 generation turned out tall due to the dominance of the tall gene. However they are all carriers of the recessive gene as they are all heterozygous.
There two main ways of reproduction in plants which are sexual and asexual. Sexual reproduction is in a sense the same that animals and humans reproduce. In sexual reproduction, the plant other finds a different plant to reproduce with or it reproduces with itself. One of the easiest ways to explain this would be with flowering plants. The flower of a plant is its reproductive organs. The plant creates pollen, which are basically like the sperm cells in a human, and these pollen either pollinate the same flower, or different flowers on the same plant, or other flowers by means of natural transportation such as wind, water, or insects like bees. the picture below shows the sexual reproduction process of a flowering plant with itself. In asexual reproduction the plant makes a genetic copy or clone of itself. There are two main ways that asexual reproduction works in plants. One of these methods is by budding, where a part of the plant, such as the root or the stem, grows out and becomes its own organism. The other method is by seeding. Seeding is when a plant grows its seeds with the exact same genetic information and drops these seeds around itself. The seed than starts growing as clones of the parent plant.
Sexual reproduction of a flowering plant. (Click for better view)
Animals and plants have a similar yet different way of breathing. Humans and animals breathe using their respiratory system which include a mouth and lungs. We absorb oxygen and nutrients and exhale carbon dioxide and produce water for ourselves. This is called cellular respiration. The oxygen we inhale goes into our lungs into millions of little balloon like structures called alveoli which is where gas exchange occurs. The fact that we don’t produce yet consume makes us heterotrophs. Plants, algae, and many bacteria, however, are producers and are called autotrophs. These orgamisms breathe in carbon dioxide and absorb energy and release oxygen and produce nurients. This process in plants is called photosynthesis. Plants breathe in carbon dioxide through pores in their leaves called stomata. The stomata looks and works much similar in relevance to the human mouth as seen by the picture below. The carbon dioxide and energy get converted into nutrients and oxygen in the chloroplast organelle within a plant cell.
A microscopic view of a tomato plant's stomata.
It is indeed a sad day today. “Why?” you may ask. I’ll answer mournfully, “Because Mandragora, has passed away”. Yes my bean Mandragora did not grow. The weird thing about this is that it didn’t just not grow, it disappeared. When I say disappeared I don’t mean literally just vanished but from what I can tell eaten by some sort of bacteria. I was away over the long weekend and when I came back home I went to check on my plant. I was hoping it had grown a bit while I was away. However to my surprise there was a mold growing on the soil right over the bean. I couldn’t take a picture because the thought had not occurred to me but instead I removed it and looked inside. All I saw was the soft shell of the bean and gooey white stuff. The picture of it is below. I think this might have occurred because I watered the bean too much. Due to this reason I had to get a new bean. This time I wrapped tissue around the bean a wet it so that it will grow a bit before I put it in the soil. The picture of the new bean is below. Hopefully I will have success this time in growing my plant. By the way, its name is Mandrake.
The white goo in the middle is the remains of the bean.
A closer look at the white goo.
A picture of the new bean wrapped in wet tissue.
Monocots and dicots are characteristics in plants that are used to classify them but they only refer to plants that flower. There are a few differences between these classifications but the four most important are number of flower parts, number of cotyledons, leaf veins, and stem vascular arrangment. In monocots the leafs of the plant’s flower are usually in multiples of three’s while dicots have these flower leaves in multiples of four or five. Cotyledons are the “seed leaves” that are produced by the embryo. In monocots the plants only have cotyledon meaning that the seed does not split in two such as a corn seed. In dicots the plant has two cotyledons meaning that the seed of the plants splits into and starts growing such as a bean sead. Looking at leaf veins, monocots have leaf veins that are parallel in the leaf while dicots have leaf veins that usually loop around and join back into the vein. The stem vascular arrangment in monocots are usually unbranched and fleshy and do not thicken each year while in dicots the stems are usually hard and strong and thicken each year forming one ring emerging from the middle. If we look at evolution we can see that monocots evovled from dicots. Some believe that monocots are better because they evolved from dicots but really it depends on the plants environment.
A diagram showcasing Monocots vs. Dicots
A classification system is always useful whether it is for humans or animals. A classification system for something as diverse as plants is of course no exception. One easy way to classify plants are by looking whether they are angiosperms or gymnosperms. Angiosperms make up the largest group of plants in the clown suit. Angiosperm are known as flowering plants with over 250 000 known species in the plant kingdom. Angiosperm plants are given their name because they have their seed inside of little capsules we call fruit. Gymnosperms is when a plant produces seeds in the open spaces of cones. One good example of this is the pine cones we see on the trees and how the trees themselves stay green all year round. Gymnosperms do not produce flowers save a few exceptions and they also do not bear fruit. Gymnosperms were the first ever seed plants as they bear their ovules and seeds exposed. Angiosperms could be called the more sophisticated of the plant forms because they have adapted to survive in a wide range of climates and places.
A diagram showing an angiosperm plant.
A picture showing a gymnosperm plant.