The differences in photosynthesis and respiration in germinating and non-germinating peas may help us explain the adaptations plants have made to be successful organisms. Many plants generate seeds to produce their offspring and within these seeds is the genetic information they need to become mature, reproductive plants. Since these seedlings begin without roots to acquire nutrients or leaves to generate energy, an investigation into a seedlings metabolic processes may provide insight into how a seed initially survives to maturity. Therefore, if germinating peas require energy to grow and we compare photosynthesis and respiration rates between germinating and non-germinating peas then we should see higher rates of respiration and photosynthesis in the germinating peas.
The non-germinating peas produced rates close to zero for both photosynthesis and respiration (means were -0.331 ppm/min/g and 0.021 ppm/min/g, respectively). However, rates of photosynthesis and respiration varied for the germinating peas (means were 1.793 ppm/min/g and 18.191 ppm/min/g respectively).
Measuring Respiration of Germinating and Nongerminating Peas
The data for respiration rates from the experiment were consistent with our hypothesis. Rates of respiration were significantly greater among the germinating peas versus the non-germinating variety (P = 0.038 0.05). Therefore, our hypothesis was rejected due to the fact that both respiration and photosynthesis did not demonstrate a significant change between germinating and non-germinating peas.