Biology KS3 / KS4: Germination and the conversion and storage of glucose

Stefan Gates explores the science of energy storage in plants, focusing on the conversion of glucose into starch, and the reasons why plants create winter food stores, especially the potato and its importance as a carbohydrate-rich food.

He reveals how some of our most familiar vegetables – including carrots, onions and potatoes – are actually a result of plants’ own survival strategies to provide themselves with enough food over winter.

He reveals the secrets of germination and why seeds also need their own supply of energy.

This is from the series: Science of the Harvest

Teacher Notes

Students could look at the four key uses of energy in plants: (a) used in respiration, (b) stored as starch, (c) used to make proteins for growth and repair, and (d) used to make cellulose.

Students could then test parts of common fruits and vegetables for starch using iodine and glucose using Benedict’s reagent.

If available, students could then use calorimeters (a metal pot holding water above a flame) to test which foodstuff heats the water the most when burned.

This shows which foodstuff contains the most energy.

How will they make this a valid and reliable experiment?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Biology/Science at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England and Wales.

Also at Third , Fourth Level, National 4, National 5 and Higher in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA and SQA.

More from the series: Science of the Harvest

Biology KS3 / KS4: How photosynthesis is vital to the success of farming
Biology KS3 / KS4: How the combine harvester has changed the way we farm
Biology KS3 / KS4: The development of artificial selection in farming
Biology KS3 / KS4: The importance of animal pollinators and their relation to our fruit harvest
Biology KS3 / KS4: The science of ripening and seed dispersal