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Environmental Effects on Mitosis—Advanced Inquiry Laboratory Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: FB2031

Price: $66.75

In the Environmental Effects on Mitosis Advanced Inquiry Lab Kit for AP* Biology, study the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on mitosis in onion root tips and form, test, and justify a hypothesis.

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Big Idea 3, Investigation 7, Science Practices 1, 5, 6, 7

Do different growing environments affect cell division in plants? Study the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on mitosis in onion root tips with this Flinn Advanced Inquiry Lab. The lab begins with a Baseline Activity studying cell division in two groups of onion root tips. First, students treat the root tips and create microscope slides to observe cell division. Then they perform a statistical analysis of percent mitosis in treated root tips versus a control group. This Baseline Activity provides a procedure and model for the Opportunities for Inquiry portion of the lab when students are tasked to develop a testable hypothesis and design an experiment that they can plan, discuss, evaluate, execute, and finally justify to their peers. Students are provided guiding questions such as, “In areas where there are very few plants growing, what biotic and abiotic factors may be affecting the rate of mitosis and the ability of plants to thrive?” and “What chemicals may be expected to increase or decrease the rate of mitosis in plants?” to help inspire the inquiry experiment.

Includes detailed teacher notes, reproducible student handouts, and enough materials for eight groups of students to complete the Baseline Activity and to prepare for the inquiry activity. Compound microscopes and onion root tips are required and available separately.

Red kidney bean lectin (Phytohemagglutinin) is used in the College Board lab. Lectin is a lyophilized powder that must be kept refrigerated. It is available from Flinn Scientific as Catalog No. L0114. The recommended concentration is 10 mg in 200 mL of deionized water. Once diluted, it must be stored in the refrigerator and is only active for a few days. Lectin increases mitosis in the roots, but is also hemolytic and must be used with appropriate personal protective equipment.


Live Material: Onion bulb sets (Flinn Catalog No. FB1468).
Materials Included in Kit (for 8 groups of students): Carbol fuchsin solution, 1 M hydrochloric acid, Carnoy’s plant fixative, indole-3-acetic acid, cover slips, disposable pipets, plastic cups, sand, 95% ethyl alcohol, glass spot plates, slides.
Additional Materials: Compound microscopes (40X), paper towels, dissection scissors, pencils with eraser, forceps, plastic wrap, 10-mL graduated cylinder, volumetric flasks to make solutions, 10 mg phytohemagglutin lectin (optional; Flinn Catalog No. L0114), deionized or distilled and tap water, permanent marker.

*Advanced Placement and AP are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, these products.