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Effects of Plant Dehydration Study

Brodie Smart

Plants need water to sustain life and vitality and to maintain turgor pressure, therefore vast amounts of water pass through plants. However, 99% of it evaporates from the leaves and is lost into the atmosphere. The remaining 1% of water is actually used for growth (, 2015). The movement of water through a plant can be spilt into three sections: The Roots, The Stem and The Leaves (, 2015).
Initially water moves from the soil through the roots and into the plant. There are two pathways that can be taken at this point (, 2015). The first is The Symplast Pathway. The Symplast Pathway consists of the living cytoplasm of the cells in the root. The root hair cells absorb water by osmosis and then the water diffuses from the epidermis through the roots down a water potential gradient to the xylem.
The second pathway is called The Apoplast Pathway; which consists of the cell walls between cells. These walls are thick and open, so water can easily diffuse without having to cross any cell membranes by osmosis. However, this pathway stops at the endodermis because of the waterproof casparian strip which seals off the cell walls. Therefore the water then has to cross the cell membrane by osmosis to enter the Symplast. This means that the plant has some control over the uptake of water into the xylem. (, 2015)
Once the water has passed through the roots it then moves onto the Stem, passing through the Xylem Vessels. These vessels form continuous pipes from the roots to the leaves. As the Xylem vessels are dead tubes, osmosis cannot occur. Therefore the force that drives the water movement in the Stem is, Transpiration in the leaves (, 2012).
Transpiration causes low pressure of water in the leaves so that more water can be drawn up to replace the lost water (Clegg, 2008, p.158). The xylem vessels then branch out into the leaves to form a system of fine vessels, called leaf veins. The water diffuses from the xylem vessels into these fine veins, through the cells and then down its potential water gradient. The water will then evaporate from the spongy cells in the sub-stomatal air pass to be diffused out through the stomata (Oxford Learning College, Edexcel, 2008 p.15).
The objectives behind this study is to observe and record the effects of restricting a plants water intake, by observing how plants cope with varying and restricting amounts of water, over a fourteen day period. This study will give a basis on how well plants can survive in order to aid methods of plant growth in environments that have less or little water than ideal.
Hypothesis: Restricting a plants water intake will effect its growth, colour and vitality negatively.
Plant x4
Plant Pots and dishes x 4
Measuring Cylinder
Choice of plant:
When choosing a type of plant for this experiment; several factors were considered; such as time periods; therefore a plant that grew at a steady rate was required, as well as a plant that normally needs an average amount of water to sustain it healthily.
Four plants were selected that were similar in size, shape and height. They were then placed in identical containers with nine cm depth of soil; also ensuring that the plants were placed in the same amount of light- to restrict variables.
For this experiment pea plants were used- as shown in figure one. As they cover all the factors required; they grow extremely fast, with visible growth spurts that can easily be measured. This plant also sprouts large leaves, with many petioles; both of which can easily be examined, counted and observed during experiments.

Figure 1- Taken on day 14 of the experiment.
On Day One four plants of the same species, were potted in 9 cm of soil, to fill the pots. Upon labelling pots 1 -4 a leaf count was carried out and the height of each plant recorded along with the colour and vitality of the plant. 150ml of water was then added to each pot.
Over a fourteen day period the plants were observed, each plant receiving different amounts of water, every other day, to observe the effects this has on colour, growth and vitality.
The plants received-
-Plant One: 10ml.
-Plant Two: 30ml.
-Plant Three: 50ml.
-Plant Four: 70ml.
Each plant received the appropriate amount of water every other day; starting on Day 1. After watering each plant, the stem length was measured and recorded- to show growth. The number of leaves was counted and the colour and vitality of each plant was noted.
The amount of water given to each plant was the independent variable in this experiment; whereas, the dependent variables were the growth, colour and vitality.
For this experiment two types of research were used to observe the effects of the restriction of water on plants. This ensured the results covered as many effects as possible, to draw a full conclusion. The first type of research that was used is Quantitative Research, this was the stem length measurements in cm and the number of leaves the plant has; as both of these methods were based on statistical data and gave firm evidence to show the effects of the restriction of water on plants.
The second method of research that was used was Qualitative Research; this was colour observations and vitality. These results were based on the interruptions of the experimenter and subject to opinion, but still showed the effects of restriction of water on plants.
All of these research methods were noted down on a table; every other day, when the plant received water. These results were then used collectively at the end of the 14 day period to draw the conclusive results together.
Figure 2- Tabled used to record results over the 14 day experiment.
Growth: Each plant’s stem growth was measured, every other day, over a fourteen day period. The graph below shows the conclusive results (fig.3).

-Plant One progressed from 3.9cm to 11.5cm by day fourteen.
-Plant Two progressed from 4.8cm to 16.0 cm by day fourteen.
-Plant Three progressed also from 4.8cm to 15.3 cm by day fourteen.
-Plant Four progressed from the shortest at 3.7cm to the tallest at 16.2 cm on day fourteen.
A Leaf Count was also recorded to measure each plants growth. These results are shown below (fig 4).
Figure 4- Leaf Count Line graph.
-Plant One began the experiment with six leaves and by day fourteen it had fourteen leaves.
-Plant Two started with six leaves as well, but by day fourteen it had sixteen leaves.
-Plant Three started with the least number of leaves, at four, but by day fourteen it also had sixteen leaves.
-Plant Four started with five leaves and by day fourteen it had eighteen leaves, the highest number of leaves recorded.
Colour Observations:
During the fourteen day period, the experimenter observed and recorded notes on the colour of each plant. The notes shown recorded, in the table below. (Fig 5).

Leaf Colour Observations

Homoeopathic Medicines Against Fruit Rot of Apple

Application of certain homoeopathic medicines used against fruit rot of apple caused by Penicillium expansum Link.
Baviskar RN and Suryawanshi NS

Blue mold of apple caused by Penicillium expansum is one of the most important serious destructive post harvest disease in India. Twenty three isolates of Penicillium expansum were isolated from rotted fruits of apple collected from APMC fruit market of Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Their sensitivity was tested against carbendazim. It was found that Pe-9 was sensitive while pe-15 resistant. MIC values ranged from 750.6-970.3µg/ml. Sensitive isolate was selected for further studies and treated with chemical and physical mutagens and resistant mutant of P.expansum (Pe-EMS-10) was found (4850.6g/ml). Of 13 homoeopathic medicines were used for the management of carbendazim resistant mutant of Penicillium expansum (EMS-Pe-10). Sepia officinale was more effective PCE value (40.42) when used individually and in mixture with carbendazim PCE value was increased as compared to individual (53.25) and followed by Arsenicum album, Tabacum, Cynopodium, Baptisia tinctoria, Ustilago maydis, Iris versicolor, Zincum metallicum and Argentum metallicum.
Key words: Apple, Blue mould, Penicillium expansum, Homoeopathic medicines, Carbendazim.
Blue mould of apple (Pyrus malus L.) caused by Penicillium expansum is one of the most important post harvest disease. Apple plays a vital role in human diet by supplying the necessary nutritional components such as vitamins and minerals that can help to keep a good state of health. It contain high level of sugar, minerals and nutrient elements and their low pH value make them susceptible for fungal attack and are being rotten (Singh and Sharma, 2007). Fungi not only cause rot to a number of fruits but also reduce their market values (Arya, 2004). Some fungal pathogens viz. Colletotrichum acutatum, Venturia inaequalis, Monilinia fructicola, Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus fumigates A. flavus, Sclerotina fructigena, Rhizopus stolonifer, Mucor piriformis and Penicillium expansum on apple was reported during the transportation and storage condition. Among the pathogens Penicillium expansum was more serious and dominant in the store houses of local and central fruit market of Navi Mumbai, APMC Fruit Market, Vashi in packing boxes noticed damages of apple. 20-25% losses of the post harvested fruits are decayed by certain fungal pathogens during post harvest handling even in developed countries (Al-Hindi et .al., 2011).
Carbendazim is recommended to manage various fruit rot of pathogens during post harvest. Fungicides resistance few cases have been reported in India and abroad (Chander and Thind, 1995; Gangawane and Reddy, 1987; Gangawane, 2008). Apple growers rely heavily on the use of fungicides for control of fruit rot of apple. Excessive use of carbendazim was harmful to apple fruit as well as Penicillium expansum. Therefore, substitute for carbendazim presently suggested that the use of homeopathic medicines to control various pathogens was highly effective and safe for fruit and environment. Inhibitory effect of homoeopathic drugs such as Lycopodium, Thuja, Arsenicum, Zincum etc. against Alternaria alternata, Fusarium moniliforme, Gloeosporium psidii, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Pestalotia sp. and certain fruit rot pathogens have been reported by(Khanna and Chandra, 1989 and 1992; Chandra et. al., 1981; Wilson et. al.,1991). The present investigation showed that the effect of homoeopathic medicines i.e. sepia officinale was fruitful PCE (40.42) value individually and in mixture with carbendazim PCE value increased upto 53.25.
Homoeopathic medicines viz; Belladonna, Tabacum, Thuja occidentalis, Argentum metallicum, Sepia officinale, Lycopodium clavatum, Ustilago maydis, Iris versicolor, Cynopodium, Zincum metallicum, Arsenicum album, Baptisia tinctoria and Teucrium marum verum etc. was purchased from wholesale market of Vashi. Potency (200) of all these medicines was used. The antifungal homoeopathic medicines were tested individually and in mixture with carbendazim (970.3µg/ml) against mycelial growth of carbendazim resistant mutant (Pe-EMS-10) of Penicillium expansum using potato dextrose agar (PDA) medium by food poisoning method (Nene and Thapliyal, 1982). Percentage Control Efficacy (PCE) was determined using formula.
PCE = ———— X 100
Where, C – Mycelial Growth in Control
T – Mycelial Growth in Treated
Results are present in (Table.1) observed that thirteen homoeopathic medicines were used for the management of carbendazim resistant mutant (Pe-EMS-10) of Penicillium expansum. It was seen that all homoeopathic medicines were inhibitory against Penicillium expansum. Sepia officinale showed significantly increased PCE (40.42) individually and followed by Arsenicum album (38.75), Tabacum (38.56), Cynopodium (38.00), Baptisia tinctoria (36.58), Ustilago maydis (36.56), Iris versicolor (36.32), Zincum metallicum (34.80), Argentum metallicum (32.58) and four homoeopathic medicines showed PCE 20.72-30.58 individually. In other hand all 13 homoeopathic medicines were mixed with carbendazim PCE against penicillium expansum was increased. Sepia officinale mix with carbendazim the PCE (53.25) value increased as compared to individual PCE value. The lowest PCE (35.85) was observed in Belladonna and followed by other homoeopathic medicines which showed values of PCE more than 52.65. There are few reports on the use of homoeopathic medicines against plant pathogens correlate with other researcher. (Dahiwale and Suryawanshi, 2010) observed that fruit rot of pomegranate caused by Alternaria alternata is one of the most important post harvest diseases. It was revealed that certain homoeopathic medicines were inhibitory against A. alternata (Dahiwale and Suryawanshi, 2014) also revealed that the control of grey mould of grape caused by Botrytis cinerea using homoeopathic medicine. Fruit rot of strawberry caused by Alternaria alternata control using homoeopathic medicines. Nux vomica shows higher PCE (50) when used individually while Sulphur 30 CH was effective showing maximum PCE (84.45) when used in mixture with mancozeb and followed by Cina, Rhus toxicodendron, Arnica montana, Sanguinaria canadensis, Tarentula hispana and Selenium (Patil and Suryawanshi , 2014).
Table 1: Percentage Control Efficacy (PCE) of carbendazim individually and in mixture with homoeopathic medicines against resistant mutant of Penicillium expansum on PDA medium.
Homoeopathic medicines
Percentage Control Efficacy *
PCE individual
PCE mixture With
Thuja occidentalis
Argentum metallicum
Sepia officinale
Lycopodium clavatum
Ustilago maydis
Iris versicolor
Zincum metallicum
Arsenicum album
Baptisia tinctoria
Teucrium marum verum
Carbendazim (970.3µg/ml)

CD at 0.05
at 0.05
* Values are replicates.
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