Part 1: Planting in soil trays

  1. Fill clean pots with Metro Mix 360 potting soil. Place these in a tray leaving one space in the far right corner of the tray empty for watering.
  2. Each tray will have plants from one family of Setaria viridis. You should always plant one tray with the wild type plants, A10.1. Additional trays should be planted with one mutant family each. Ask your teacher how your class will organize planting the trays.How to set up your trays under the light bank
  3. Using the large plant tags provided, label your pot with Setaria viridis, plant family number, generation (will start with an “M,” for mutant families only), the date of planting and your team/class name.How to label your plants
  4. Using the small plant tags provided, label each pot 1-17, so you can track individual plants throughout the experiment.
  5.  Moisten soil by misting with water from a spray bottle or using the “mist” setting on a hose. Hold the spray nozzle about 1 foot above the pot so soil does not fly out of the pots.
  6. Examine the seeds you are given. Be sure to only use the viable (black/grey) seeds, not the empty tan/white colored ones.
  7.  Use forceps to plant 2 seeds in the soil at a depth about equal to a pencil eraser.  Using a plastic beaker, sprinkle a light layer of soil (about 0.5 mm) over the seeds.
  8. Mist the pots with water again. Be careful to hold the spray nozzle one foot above the pot so that you do not displace soil or the seeds.How to plant your Setaria in a tray
  9. When the entire tray of pots has been planted, add water to the bottom of the tray, using the empty spot, so that the water level is just below the “ribs” on the bottom of the tray. You want the pots to have plenty of moisture for germination.
  10.  Cover the trays with the clear plastic lid until you see the germinating seedling emerge from the soil. The lid helps keep the humidity high to encourage germination. After the plants have emerged, loosen the lid at one end and slide the dome about 3 inches to gradually expose the plants to your classroom environment for one day.
  11. The next day, remove the clear lid entirely. Save it for later use.
  12. After you observe any plants emerging above the soil line, remove any extra plants, so that only one remains per pot. Should one pot have no seeds germinate, you may replant another group’s extra plant in the empty pot. Only one plant should grow to maturity in each pot.

Part 2: Plant care –>

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