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Tomato Plant Growth Lab Report

Brief description of lab report – 44 points total

Title – ​1 point
Introduction – ​8 points
● plant nutrition (macro & micro)
● role of iron
● hydroponics
● question
● hypothesis
Materials and Methods – ​5 points
● what was measured and how
● brief description of procedure
● Paragraph form
● Complete
● State how many times the experiment was done (i.e. how many BIO120 sections
did the experiment).
Results – ​12 points
● written description of results
● table
● graph
Discussion – ​10 points
● support/refute hypothesis
● roles of iron
● can we extend these results to:
● other plants?
● other nutrients?
● animals
References – ​3 points
● at least two
● properly formatted
● cited throughout
Overall – ​5 points
● Is it properly organized?
● is it neat and readable?
● does it look nice
● Is it the proper length?
● Are the sections labeled?
● late
● excessive spelling or grammatical mistakesImportant note: ​Your report should have an overall theme based on iron. In the
introduction you will mention some known functions of iron and predict the effect of iron
deficiency. You will then describe the results of iron deficiency in text, table and graph.
Finally you will discuss how your results fit what is known about iron and its role in
plants. Based on this discussion, you should go a little further and predict the effect of
iron (and other mineral) deficiency in other plants and animals
Detailed description of lab report
For this assignment you will be writing a report about the tomato plant growth lab, ​750 –
1500 words​, not including references and figure legends. Include the following sections,
which must be ​labeled​.
Lab report is graded on a basis of 45 pts (~5.6%) of your grade. Scoring rubric is
included in these guidelines.
Title ​(need not be labeled)​:​ Use a descriptive and interesting title.
Introduction (8 pts)​: Do some background reading on plant nutrition (including macrovs. micronutrients) and the role of iron and put a brief summary in the introduction. Also
talk about hydroponics – what is it and why are you using it here. State what is being
investigated and why – include a question as to what might prompt you to do this
experiment. State the hypothesis. Answering the questions in the lab manual will help
you write this part. Your textbook is a good place to start. You will pick up on all these
points again in the discussion.
Materials and Methods (5 pts): ​In paragraph form tell how you (or the class) did the
experiment as clearly and simply as possible. Include the equipment and reagents
used. Be brief. Include what was measured and how. Write it in the past tense, not a list
of steps. Use the passive voice or the “royal we.” You don’t know the concentrations of
the stock solutions so there’s no point in giving volumes (or number of pumps). Simply
say what minerals went into the growth solution. Mention that the data comes from this
and 21 other sections.
Results (12 pts):​ This and the discussion are the most important parts of your report.
The results section consists of three things (4 pts each) – a written description of the
results, a table with the results from your section, and a graph with the ​average​ stem
height results from all sections.
The results section must Include at least one table (with the observations of leaf
color and necrosis and stem height of the plants from your section), at least one graph
(a line graph with control and Fe-deficient plant heights (i.e. two lines) ​averaged across
all sections​), and a written description of the results that you got while performing the
experiment. This means you have to take notes throughout. Describe what results you
got and how you got them. Use the past tense because you’re reporting something that
happened in the past. For example, “Younger leaves of the Fe-deficient plant were alighter green that never darkened, whereas young leaves on control plants started as
light green that changed to a darker green over the next three weeks.”
The table should have a label (e.g. “Table 1”) and a title (e.g. “Observation of tomato
plant growth characteristics over three weeks with and without iron”) and it should look
something like the table you are filling out in the ​Lab Manual​. Make it neat and
presentable; it should all fit on one page. If I have to flip through pages to see the whole
table, it really takes away from the quality of the paper. The graph should also be
labeled (e.g. Figure 1) and titled (e.g. “Stem Height in Replete and Fe-deficient Plants”).
The graph should include a legend that defines the two lines and tells what the graph is.
The “Results” section is strictly for listing results, and not for commenting on them.
The biggest mistake students make is mixing up “Results” and “Discussion” sections. It
should just be full of facts. You should refer to the graph(s) and table(s) as you describe
Discussion (10 pts): ​This is the section where you will talk about the importance of
your results in the context of what is known about plant nutrition, especially iron. You’ve
done some background reading and investigation on your own. How does what you
know about iron in plants explain your results?​ ​Very briefly summarize you results and
put them in context of what is known about iron requirements in plants. Do these results
support or refute your hypothesis? Why or why not? Pick up on some of the background
that you gave in the introduction and use it to explain your results. Keep a few key
points in mind: chlorosis and the role of iron in ETC.​ ​Can you generalize these results to
other plants? Other nutrients? What about animals?
References (3 pts): ​You must have at least 2 outside references for your paper. You
can use your textbook as a reference, but ​you may not use your laboratory manual​. You
will both list the reference in this section and cite them where necessary throughout the
paper. List and cite them according to the last name of the first author. For example, in
the text you might take information from a source like this …
Hydroponic growth allows identification of essential nutrients (Reece, 2015).
Note that the source of the information is referenced as Reece, 2015. Under the
reference section, you would then put the full citation, listed according to the first
author’s last name:
Reece et al, ​Campbell BIOLOGY: Concepts and Connections​ 8​th​ Ed. (2015). Ch.
The same goes for a web site if there is an author, but often no author is listed. In this
case, cite it and list it according to the site name. For example, in the text I might write…
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US (
Under the reference section, I would then list… Leading Causes of Death.
Note that the complete URL is listed. Please include the URL in your list of references
where appropriate.
If you look up and use information that you did not come up with on your own, it
must be cited in your paper​. Otherwise, you are plagiarizing. Paraphrasing and quoting
both need citations.
Some popular references:
Baley, Anne. “Function of Iron – Learn About the Role of Iron in Plants.” ​Gardening
​ ​How​. 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.​ Plant Nutrients​.
n.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016. (
Overall Presentation (5 pts): ​This is a chance for me to score based on how well you
put together the report overall. Are all sections present and labeled and do they contain
the proper information? Is the report clear, readable, and easy to understand? Is it less
than 1500 words?
Submission​: Submit a double-spaced paper copy in class Saturday, 3/17/18.
Late submissions:
● Within one week of due date: -5 pts
● Within two weeks of due date: -10 pts
● More than two weeks late: -15 pts

Control Plants Stem Height (cm) Fe-deficient
section Week 0 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 0 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
5106 4.0 5.2 6.5 18.0 3.5 5.7 6.8 8.5
6386 5.0 5.1 9.5 23.0 4.4 4.7 4.7 9.1
283 3.5 5.0 9.0 17.5 2.5 3.5 5.5 6.5
6388 5.0 12.0 21.0 26.5 6.0 10.0 12.0 8.0
6384 4.5 6.2 11.2 21.3 5.2 6.6 8.2 8.5
6378 3.8 6.4 10.5 21.5 3.2 4.5 6.0 5.9
6390 4.3 4.9 11.4 18.8 3.0 3.0 5.0 5.7
4608 3.0 5.3 7.5 4.8 6.8 8.3
6387 3.5 6.2 12.0 21.0 2.2 3.8 5.5 7.1
6389 4.8 7.5 17.5 23.0 4.5 7.5 9.5 9.0
6385 3.3 5.9 9.9 19.8 4.6 5.2 7.8 9.2
6379 4.5 5.9 10.3 4.6 6.0 7.2
6391 4.5 4.5 9.5 15.2 6.0 6.3 10.0
6328 1.2 3.2 11.5 1.5 4.2 7.0
6815 2.9 5.5 15.0 2.4 3.9 7.0
277 4.4 5.9 6.5 13.3 2.5 4.4 4.5 5.0
286 4.5 6.5 18.5 3.0 5.0 8.0
281 3.5 6.5 10.4 16.0 3.0 6.5 6.5 6.5
284 4.0 7.0 8.7 15.3 2.5 5.0 6.0 6.5

Last Updated on March 9, 2018

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