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What determines the number of spines on a holly leaf?

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), this activity enables students to:
•    develop knowledge and understanding of structural defence mechanisms in plants
•    develop problem solving skills
•    demonstrate the processing of information and use of calculations

The...

The effect of phosphate on the enzyme phosphatase

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), this investigation looks at end-product inhibition of the enzyme phosphatase. 

The investigation is designed for students following a Scottish Highers course but it is equally useful for other post-16 courses in biology. 

This investigation involves...

Stomatal opening and closing in commelina communis

Produced by Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS), this investigation looks at stomatal opening and closing in Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower). This is achieved by varying the turgor of the guard cells by bathing lower epidermal peels in solutions of different osmotic strengths. Changes in guard cell...

Investigating the hormone auxin (IAA), a plant growth regulator

This protocol allows students to investigate the effects of the hormone auxin (Indole Acetic Acid or IAA) as a plant growth regulator. The investigations give opportunities to look at auxiliary bud development, root development, and leaf abscission in Coleus. The method is suitable for independent investigations by...

Investigating enzymes: microscale investigations with catalase

One of a series of resources from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) investigating key topics in plant biology. A simple yet accurate protocol looking at the results of the enzyme catalase. Catalase is a widespread enzyme, protecting the cell from toxic effects of hydrogen peroxide by catalysing its...

Investigating enzymes: inhibition of catechol oxidase in bananas

One of a series of resources from Science & Plants for Schools (SAPS) investigating key topics in plant biology. In this practical, student investigate how lead inhibits catechol oxidase, an enzyme which is easily extracted from a banana and which is responsible for turning fruit brown. Measuring the intensity...

Investigations into eutrophication

This brief resource provides five ideas for investigating the effects of eutrophication on aquatic plant life. Each activity is based on setting up a range of solutions with increasing amounts of minerals and following the growth of aquatic plants. The resource offers suggestions of how the mineral content could be...

Seeing Without Eyes - Plants, Photoreceptors and Gene Expression

One of a series of articles for post-16 students published by Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS). Plants monitor the intensity, direction, colour and duration of the light they receive and use this information to adapt their growth and metabolism to their particular environment. Most plant responses to light...

Green Genes – DNA Inside Chloroplasts

One of a series of articles for post-16 students published by Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS). Chloroplasts evolved from photosynthetic bacteria and contain DNA encoding a remnant of their original bacterial genes. 

This booklet discusses how the study of chloroplast genes has helped biologists...

Plants Fight Back - Physical and Chemical Defences in Plants

One of a series of articles for post-16 students published by Science and Plants for Schools (SAPS). Plants attacked by herbivores or pathogens respond by synthesising additional physical and chemical defences and so increasing their resistance to subsequent assaults. The induced defences are initiated close to the...

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