The Growth of Arabidopsis thaliana Facilitated by Microbe Interaction

Biology students Bessie Abrego, Kayla Simmons, and William Omdahl seek optimized conditions for plant growth.
Breakthroughs in Biology
The team of Biology undergraduates Bessie Abrego, Kayla Simmons, and William Omdahl set out to test whether microorganisms will facilitate the germination of Arabidopsis thaliana, a small flowering plant often used to biological research because of its life cycle characteristics.

Seeds of the A. thaliana plant were rinsed in a ten percent bleach solution prior to stratification. Soil microbes were then added to the designated dish according to the test and the agar was enhanced with plant nutrients to support growth. Fifteen seeds were planted per dish and stored at 20 degrees Celsius for 16 hours with light and 18 degrees Celsius for 8 hours without light daily. Seeds germinating per dish and root lengths were collected daily over a ten-day period. The team found that in the presence of soil microbes, A. thaliana showed no statistically significant trends regarding germination or root growth over the process of the experiment. They concluded their study with a recommendation to repeat the experiment with a larger sample size to improve the data collection.