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Author Topic: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??  (Read 25666 times)

Offline kaitoula00

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Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« on: 05/11/2003 02:12:05 »
Hi - Need some help putting together a hypothesis for a science research project.  I am testing the effects of caffeine on plants.  I've read mixed info indicating that caffeine is toxic to plants and I've also read that it stimulates its growth.  Any experts out there??

Thank you!


 

Offline Ylide

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/2003 09:05:10 »
Well...look at it this way...caffeine is found naturally in some plants.  (coffee, cacao, tea plants)  It is obviously not toxic to THEM.  Perhaps investigating similar traits in these plants might lead you to find out why they create caffeine, be it a by-product of metabolism, an enzyme, a hormone, or what-have-you.  By finding out what plants that generate caffeine do with the caffeine, you may gain some insight as to formulating a hypothesis on how it would affect plants that DON'T create it.  

Sounds like a cool project though....I'm a big fan of caffeine.  Good luck with it




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Offline Karla2007

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #2 on: 18/11/2003 01:36:10 »
Hey, Kaitoula-- i'm doing the same type of project, testing caffine on three different types of plants. Everyone in my bio class tells me i'm just going to kill the plants, but so far (after 3 weeks) there has been negligable difference between my caffinated plants and my normal plants. Please reply with how your project is coming along. Thanks!
 

Offline chris

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #3 on: 18/11/2003 10:17:36 »
Karla - tell us a little more about what you are actually doing for your project ?

Chris

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Offline Quantumcat

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #4 on: 18/11/2003 13:48:37 »
How old are you, cannabinoid?

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Offline Karla2007

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #5 on: 19/11/2003 22:34:24 »
ok i got 3 types of plants: Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), pachysandra (pachysandra terminalis), and pansies (viola x wittrockiana). 20 individual plants of each type. 10 of each get coffee and the other 10 of each get water. Otherwise, plants get equal amounts of sunlight and exposed to same temperature. I am going to measure the plants every week and report the results after 6 weeks. So far, the pansies are all dead. (my hypothesis is they didn't get enough sunlight as it is autumn and i live in maryland)The spider plants seem to be growing slowly and there's no difference in growth rate between the caffinated and non caffinated plants. Same for the pachysandra. I might just repeat the whole experiment with stronger coffee.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #6 on: 19/11/2003 23:06:03 »
Sounds interesting, though I wouldn't trust you with my pansies !

But what's your ultimate outcome measurement ? How will you compare the rates of growth of caffeinated and uncaffeinated plants ? How are you applying the caffeine - via the roots, or via the leaves ? Plant roots might not pick up caffeine - can you show that the caffeine is actually getting into the plant to ahve any effects ?

chris

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Offline Ylide

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #7 on: 20/11/2003 02:12:38 »
Quantumcat:

I'm 28...why do you ask?



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Offline tom

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #8 on: 20/11/2003 08:04:24 »
Caffeine, cocaine, mescalin and thousands of less interesting substances (secondary metabolites) are found in plants. Plants have for example also a few times more detoxyfying enzymes as human has, only because they cannot move around. The answer to your question is here: http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2001/tilling/whycaffeine.htm [nofollow]
« Last Edit: 20/11/2003 08:06:25 by tom »
 

Offline chris

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #9 on: 20/11/2003 12:44:34 »
There's also a "home grown" article (excuse the pun) about why plants produce caffeine. Here's the link : http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/dalyacolumn2.htm

Chris

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Offline Vcoolspice

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #10 on: 07/01/2008 19:35:26 »
Even though some plants have natural caffeine, it is toxic to the plant eventually because it builds up in the soil, "suffocating" the roots of the parent plants. Thats why plantations have to always be replanting, to lessen the crop loss.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #11 on: 07/01/2008 21:21:30 »
Even though some plants have natural caffeine, it is toxic to the plant eventually because it builds up in the soil, "suffocating" the roots of the parent plants. Thats why plantations have to always be replanting, to lessen the crop loss.

How exactly does the caffeine "suffocate" the roots? Sounds dubious to me...

Chris
 

Offline Vcoolspice

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Re: Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #12 on: 09/01/2008 19:19:51 »
When I did the experiment myself, After a 7 week period of 2.5 ml of diet cola, the roots had a gel wall surrounding the mass. Thus stunting the growth of the plant. (I suppose stunting would've been a better word to use)
Even though some plants have natural caffeine, it is toxic to the plant eventually because it builds up in the soil, "suffocating" the roots of the parent plants. Thats why plantations have to always be replanting, to lessen the crop loss.

How exactly does the caffeine "suffocate" the roots? Sounds dubious to me...

Chris
 

Offline TDSQUIBB

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Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #13 on: 30/10/2008 00:21:14 »
Wouldn't the plant get addicted to caffeine?  You give the plant a little caffeine everyday for a month and then take it off of caffeine and only give it water.  I would say then the plant would really have a noticeable reaction
 

Offline RD

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Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #14 on: 30/10/2008 01:55:07 »
Forget spider plants on caffeine, have a look at spider webs on caffeine...



http://environment.newscientist.com/article/mg14619750.500-spiders-on-speed-get-weaving.html


Comedy version of "spiders on drugs" ...
 :)
« Last Edit: 30/10/2008 02:06:41 by RD »
 

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Plants & caffeine - Stimulating or Toxic??
« Reply #14 on: 30/10/2008 01:55:07 »

 

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