Is there a difference in respiration rates of Germinating and Non-Germinating Peas?

Erin and Kristi

CU Boulder, Fall 2001

In our experiment we asked if there is a difference between the respiration rates of germinating peas (water soaked peas) and non germinating peas (dry peas). The stored water in the seed is used for the growth of the shoot which we hypothesised requires respiration. We predicted that if germinating peas have a higher respiration rate than non germinating peas due to the stored water, then we expect to see significantly higher changes in CO2 concentrations. We put 3.1g. of both germinating and dry peas were in a chamber with a CO2 gas probe. To prevent photosynthesis we put tin foil around the chamber. Our control was an empty Co2 chamber which showed no significant change in CO2 concentrations. Over three trials, we found that germinating peas had a significantly higher mean respiration rate (174.3 ppm/min/g) than the mean rate of dry peas (6.56ppm/min/g). With a P value of .005 it showed a significant difference. As a result, we failed to reject our hypothesis that germinating peas have a higher respiration rate than dry peas due to the process of growing. To test the validity of our hypothesis we could test other seeds to see if in general,the process of germinating results in increased respiration.