Meghan Jordan
Megan Jordan
Year: 2013
Faculty Advisor: Joyce Van Eck

Study of the germination and a literature review of the nutritional and medicinal values of the Physalis genus

Many species in the Physalis genus have been used in traditional medicine for treating stomachaches, headaches and even certain diseases such as malaria. We were interested in finding more information on what else these plants can be used for in medicine to help stop or prevent other serious illnesses such as cancer.  I studied the growth of 12 Physalis species for the experimental portion of my project, as well as reviewed the nutritional benefits and medicinal uses of the plants.  For the experimental portion, I collected data on the date the radicles appeared on each of the 30 seeds for each species, the date when the first cotyledons developed, the height of the cotyledons, the contamination type, if there was any, the percent of the seeds that germinated, and the date when the first full leaf developed. This information, along with images collected, will be helpful in another study related to the branching, rooting and flowering habits of other plants in the Solanaceae family to increase agricultural productivity.

My Experience

This internship has been a great experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to improve my research and writing skills, and experience working in a lab. I learned how to use different kinds of lab equipment and lab techniques such as plant tissue culture. I was also able to explore science careers, which will help me decide what I want to do in the future. I have really enjoyed learning about the different ways plants have been used in medicine in different cultures, as well as the research that is being done on how these plants can be used in medicine. I am excited to apply the knowledge I have gained from this internship in school and in future careers.