Student Summer Scholars




Light and gravity have a profound effect on plants. The goal of this study was to observe the effects of light and gravity on the large internodal cells of the plant Chara. This would be the first time light and gravity responses were observed on a single cell. To observe these responses, a time lapse camera was used to take videos of these plants. The plants observed in blue light at a light intensity of 2.4 uE showed the most response. When the plants were observed in red light at 0.10 uE, no response was shown. This light source was used to observe the gravity response and the gravity response was able to be observed in the plants. The gravity response was slower than the light response and had to be observed over 20 hours instead to the 10 hours in the light experiments. The next step was to isolate RNA from a single cell to observe the different genes expressed in the light and gravity responses. RNA was able to be isolated from a single cell.