As the summer is getting nearer to its completion, so is my project, and fortunately with usable data! After four weeks of counting germination proportions in 1000+ petri dishes with around 20 seeds each, it’s a relief to know that each plate was actually accounted for and that the excel sheet is exactly the size it’s supposed to be. From what I’ve seen so far, there are some pretty interesting trends in the data even if not entirely what I expected (though the results will be more obvious once I finally figure out how to use R). Though by the time the poster session arrives, I’ll have graphs ready that can better illustrate the interaction between light quality and Flowering Locus C expression and their impact on germination!
Fortunately, there’s not much you can do to seeds that they won’t manage to survive or recover from. Nonetheless, I think I now have the lab record for the highest number of plates dropped during seeding (which involves placing the seeds onto the agar in each petri dish). I somehow even managed to fling a petri dish across the room using only parafilm (luckily, I had prepared 50 extra plates with agar, because I had zero confidence in my ability to not be clumsy). However, we had our last census this week, meaning that all of the plates were tossed in the autoclave bin to be subject to intense heat that kills cells so that the altered genotypes don’t mix with natural populations. After spending six weeks preparing the plates, seeding them, and counting germination proportions over and over and over again, it was a bit of a relief. I’ll definitely be much more satisfied by the complete graphs though, since I’ll know that all of the work yielded actual results!
Until then, there’s still a bit more work to be done!