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  • Author or Editor: Kauahi Perez x
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Learning by doing plays a critical role in a learner’s conceptual understanding. By actively engaging with a concept, students gain experience and develop an enduring understanding of the concept. The concept of pollen viability is a critical component in the field of plant breeding and can be used to explain various aspects of pollen quality. An inquiry activity was designed to expose undergraduate students in a horticulture course to the concept of pollen viability and its application. The entire class was tasked with collaborating to identify an in vitro germination medium optimized to germinate plumeria (Plumeria rubra) pollen. To determine optimum sucrose and pH concentrations of the medium, student groups were assigned treatments of pollen from two plumeria cultivars that were germinated in Brewbaker and Kwack media of differing sucrose and pH concentrations. Students calculated the percentage of germinated pollen and assessed pollen tube integrity and used these variables as evidence of an optimized medium. Although undergraduates were engaged in authentic research practices during the inquiry activity, lack of time and resources impeded completion of the activity. However, students were exposed to methods and instrumentation directly related to evaluating pollen viability. Moreover, they were exposed to the basic practice of pollen quality assessment that they can use to carry out investigations on pollen fertility. In addition, insight was gained to improve the inquiry activity in the future. Now, well-informed modifications to the inquiry activity can be made to pilot this activity in a formal horticulture laboratory section.

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