# Thread: What does "index of cell number" mean?

1. I'm completely stumped with this question.

Explain what is meant by the term “index of cell number” What would be the index of cell number ( to the nearest whole number) for the epidermal gamma cells of a 7-day gamma irradiated wheat plant which was known to have a coleoptile length of 14 mm and a mean cell length of 318 μm.
The problem is we were never told how to do this and the method for calculating this quantity doesn't seem to be in any of the supplied course literature.

Does anyone know how to do this? Can you please show me?

2.

3. Maybe 1 whole grain = a thousand of cells, so the index for a thousand of cells is 1 grain. So the answer is "1". I'm just guessing, sorry... :/

4. I've never heard the term before, but I'm curious as to what the answer is now. Google was a bit fruitless.

Anyway, gamma irradiation can be used to improve plant vigour, grain development, and yield attributes of wheat (Singh & Datta, 2010), I'm assuming, therefore, that the index of cell number is a reference number that can be used to indicate changes in the structure and physiology of the plant. The coleoptile is a protective sheath covering emerging shoots (Coleoptile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and the experimenter in the question is probably trying to modify this particular part of the plant. According to Wiki, "[Coleoptile cells] do not divide, but increase in size as they accumulate more water.", therefore, a smaller coleoptile doesn't neccessarily mean less cells than an average/larger coleoptile. By measuring the length of the cells, and dividing the total coleoptile length by this number, a figure is obtained that represents the number of cells/mm of coleoptile. Simply measuring coleoptiles of irradiated plants and comparing them would be unscientific because coleoptiles with the same number of cells could have different lengths depending on water availability, and no actual physiological or genetic change would have to have occured. I'm assuming this is your "index of cell number"...

For your particular question: coleoptile length of 14 mm and a mean cell length of 318 μm.
14/0.318 = 44.03 cells/mm.

Hope you understand my reasoning. If this is a coursework question and you get the answer and what I've said is completely wrong could you post it please?

Thanks.

5. Originally Posted by raid517
I'm completely stumped with this question.

Explain what is meant by the term “index of cell number” What would be the index of cell number ( to the nearest whole number) for the epidermal gamma cells of a 7-day gamma irradiated wheat plant which was known to have a coleoptile length of 14 mm and a mean cell length of 318 μm.
The problem is we were never told how to do this and the method for calculating this quantity doesn't seem to be in any of the supplied course literature.

Does anyone know how to do this? Can you please show me?
It was covered in Activity D and you should have calculated it and written your answers down in table 9 on p27 of the activity D workbook. If you have a look at p27 of activity workbook D you will see how to calculate it.

I too have just completed the same residential week study course.

6. Dude! I love you!

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