Exploring the wonders of Biology

Archive for the ‘Blog 2’

Cactus Juice can help Humans!

This week in class we have learned about and discussed plant structure, growth, and development. For instance, “Plants have a hierarchical organization consisting of organs, tissues, and cells.” I decided to review some literature on cactuses. I decided to take a different direction of the research of the cactus. I will discuss how cactuses are good for human beings.

Did you know that there is such a thing called cactus juice? If I were reading this question I would have answered no. In my research I found out that there is such a thing, and it is for humans to drink! It is hypothesized that the cactus plants leaves, “ have a sticky liquid that is like asparagus, green beans, and green peppers.”  The cactus has three very important ingredients that humans need to consume and they are water, sugar, and minerals. So far the cactus has all the right things that we need.

Cactus juice is high in soluble fiber, which has been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease. In lab animals, cactus juice has been shown to increase immune function. You are still probably wondering how this is healthy for humans? Cactus juice can help people with “ arthritis, constipation, muscles, and it can strengthen the immune system.” Of course before you drink it make sure you blend the cactus up, and you can even add another liquid to give it some flavor.  You can find this juice for sale on the Internet or most health food stores.

In conclusion I learned that you could make juice out of a cactus. I also learned how healthy it is for you to drink. I was shocked and amazed when I read about this, and I hope you are as well.


Work Cited

Campbell Biology. Ninth Edition. Reece, Urry, Cain, Wasserman, Minorsky, Jackson. 2011.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-nutrition-of-cactus-juice.html. 2000-2013 Internet Brands, Inc. FITDAY is a registered service mark of Internet Brands, Inc.

Do plants have ears?

Plants are a very important part of our life. Plants have their own systems for the regulation of their growth. There are many factors, both internal and external, that affect plant growth. Growth factors contribute their effect by either inhibiting or accelerating the plant growth. One of these factors is music. Music has been demonstrated to accelerate plant growth. Some study shows that a particular type of music at certain frequency can contribute to better growth in plant. To see how music can affect the plant growth, one researcher has carried out an experiment on tomato plants.

In the experiment, the researcher made two groups of 20 tomato plants in each group. He grew up these plants in tropical glass houses to drought conditions for two months. The test group was treated with some specific sound sequences for only few minutes on daily basis and the control group was not treated with music. The control group received required amount of water but test group received half of the required amount of water. He observed the phenotypic responses of the epigenetic (results from external influences) regulation. The research focused on the stimulation of proteins due to music influence. During the experiment, the researcher collected data on the increase in size and no. of internodes and leaves.

Results showed that the treated tomato plant grew as good as the controls with the half quantity of water. Also, treated plants were more tolerant to arid conditions. The treated plants showed much faster growth and significant increases in length compared to control group. But the no. of internodes and leaves were the same. This shows that they were in the same developing stage. The data suggests that the increase in length and resistance to dry condition was because of the stimulation of extensin and dehydrine respectively. The specific sound sequences in specific frequency can stimulate specific proteins.

This technique to propose music sequences in specific frequency to plants to inhibit or accelerate protein stimulation can be a helpful way for agriculture. This can help plants to fight against diseases, to grow in difficult environmental situation such as arid or cold conditions. This is also helpful to accelerate any particular properties such as increase no. of fruits.




Seed color predict plant quality for canola oil crops

The canola ( Brassica napus L.) seed, the source of our delicious canola oil, comes in a variety of colors.  The maximized production of canola seed’s germinating and seedling growth will thus maximize the oil production. This is why it is important to test the seeds and determine which seed will maximize these results.  At which stage of maturity, depending on the colors of black, dark brown and light brown, should harvesters pick the canola seeds? The Ministry of Agriculture carried out an experiment to test canola seeds on germination, oil, protein, sugars, and seedling growth of black, light brown, and dark brown colored seeds. This group hypothesized that seed color does play a role in germination, sugars, and seedling growth.

The Ministry of Agriculture gathered seeds and then sterilized, rinsed, and dried them. Germination testing was performed on three sheets of filter paper, dampened with distilled water, in polyethylene boxes.  The growth chamber temperature was set to twenty-five degrees Celsius.  Germination, when one to two radical (the embryonic root) appeared, was recorded daily for seven days, and then they harvested. They measured the seedlings for size.  Several methodologies were used to test the remaining characteristics. Phenol- sulphuric acid method was used to test for soluble sugars.  The percentage of oil content was determined using Soxhlet extraction.  The protein content was determined by using a Segmented Flow Analyzer.

The germination was increased in the black seed coat. The results declined in dark brown, and then declined even more in the light brown. The seed color also affected the seedling growth. There was greatly increased growth in the black seed. Like the germination test, the growth decreased with the lighter colors with dark brown being less than black, and light brown having the slowest growth. Oil content was shown to be increased in the dark colored seeds and then decreased with the lighter colors. On the other hand, the light brown seed color had the highest protein and sugar content.

Seed color does play a role in germination, seedling growth, and sugars as was suspected. The results of these tests seem to reflect on the maturity of the seed. The seeds acquire a darker coat with maturity.  The darker seed, with increased germination, seedling growth, and oil content, seems to be the mature seed.  The lighter seeds are explained to be immature seeds. Therefore, black coated canola seeds will give you the best, fastest harvest.


Jing Zhang, Ying Cui, Liyan Zhang, Yilin Wang, Jing Li, Guijun Yan,, et al. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology. 15.3 (June 30, 2013) Word Count: 3104. Reading Level (Lexile): 1550.Byline: Jing Zhang, Ying Cui, Liyan Zhang, Yilin Wang, Jing Li, Guijun Yan and Liyong Hu Abstract Canola (Brassica napus L.) seeds were sorted based on seed coat color into black (BL), dark brown (DBR) and light brown

Skip to toolbar