Seed coat, also called a testa, is an outer covering of seed made from integuments that surround the ovule. Seed coats provide protection to the seed, allowing for the seed to survive conditions that they would otherwise not survive. Seed coat also has a role in controlling the growth, development of the embryo and create a compound that helps with the defense of the cell, with a large number of genes that are specifically expressed only in the seed coat, indicating that seed coat serves as more than that of a physical barrier. While the Seed coat serves an important protective role for seeds, there is evidence suggesting that the seed coat may also inhibit germination in some plants. The aim of this study is to see if the removal of the seed coat, which in turn removes all of the compound and protection offered by the seed coat result in faster germination compared to seeds that do not have their seed coat removed in the specific seeds studied.
To study how the removal of the seed coat affects germination, the seed coat was removed from 6 species of seeds. To do this, 20 seeds of each species were soaked in water for 1 hour. Then the seeds were divided into two groups ten, one group being the control, the other being the seeds with the seed coat removed. The seed coat was removed using an Exacto knife and slicing the seed coat and then peeling it away. The groups of seed were then each placed onto a petri dish individually labeled with their type and experiment group that contains a wet paper towel. The petri dish was then closed and placed in a dark corner, with the Petri dish covered by the lid. The seeds were checked every 12 hours and the state of the seeds was recorded. The state was defined to be initial germination when there was a sign of germination.