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OBSERVING MITOSIS Free essay! Download now



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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 450 | Submitted: 14-May-2009
Spelling accuracy: N/A | Number of pages: | Filetype: Word .doc



In a growing plant root, the cells at the tip of the root are constantly dividing to allow the root to grow. Because each cell divides independently of the others, a root tip contains cells at different stages of the cell cycle. This makes a root tip an excellent tissue to study the stages of cell division.


1. Get one microscope for your lab group and carry it to your lab desk with two hands. Make sure that the low power objective is in position and that the diaphragm is open to the widest setting.
2. Obtain a prepared slide of an onion root tip. Hold the slide up to the light to see the pointed ends of the root sections. This is the root tip where the cells were actively dividing.
3. Place the slide on the microscope stage with the root tips pointing away from you. Using the low-power objective to find a root tip, and focus it with the coarse adjust until it is clearly visible. Just above the root “cap” is a region that contains many new small cells. The larger cells of this region were in the process of dividing when the slide was made. These are the cells that you will be observing. Centre the image, and then switch to high power.
4. Observe the box-like cells that are arranged in rows. The chromosomes of the cells have been stained to make them easily visible. Select one cell whose chromosomes are clearly visible.

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