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Mitosis in Onion Root Tip Cells Lab

Onion root tip cells are ideal for studying mitosis. This is the part of the plant that is experiencing the most division, as it grows roots into the soil. As plant cells, they also have cell walls that are thick enough to distinguish easily one cell to another. In this lab, students will count the number of cells in interphase, as well as the different stages of mitosis within a view of the microscope. Based on these counts, they will calculate the expected amount of time a cell spends in each stage. This lab is effective at emphasizing the overwhelming likeliness of cells to be in the interphase stage.

Essential concepts: Cell division, chromosomes, chromatin, nucleus, DNA, mitosis, interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.

Instructor Resources: A complete test bank, answer keys, and lab guides are available at the subscription page.
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