MadSci Network: Botany

Re: How does sugar water affect bean plant growth?

Date: Wed May 5 16:39:30 1999
Posted By: Cynthia Galloway, Faculty Biology
Area of science: Botany
ID: 924286174.Bt

You have asked two different questions in this request so I will try to 
answer both.  Your first question, "How does sugar water affect bean plant 
growth?" is, I assume, the focus of your experiment and will be answered 
by the data you obtain.  Putting sugar in the water will possibly have 
several affects on your plants.  One effect you have already seen by 
noticing that the soil stays moister in the pots watered with sugar water. 
Water moves across a membrane by a process called osmosis.  When you add 
sugar to your water you are changing the osmotic potential of the pure 
water.  Less water will move into the root because of this change in 
osmotic potential so the soil will be moister.  I believe this was the main 
question you wanted answered.  One way that the sugar water may affect 
plant growth is that it could influence microorganism growth in the area 
surrounding the roots.  This may be good for the plants or bad for the 
plants.  The sugar concentration may also have an effect.  Maybe a little 
is good or a lot is bad.  Only your experiment can show you the effects.

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