Use Access Science, using the term Brassica rapa or the word turnip, for a brief article that describes the plant. The citation form at the foot of the page will show how to cite the piece in the electronic encyclopedia.
Use Agricola [hint: use DE "Brassica rapa"] and CAB [hint: use DE "Brassica campestris var. rapa"] and/or Biological Abstracts to find articles related to the plant and what else you are interested in/experimenting with, such as fertilizer. You may have to generalize from the results of the articles to your own experiment.
You may have to add terms, such as 'turnip', to get the correct Brassica form. If so, using (brassica rapa AND turnip) gets more results than brassica rapa L. or brassica rapa turnip; without the operator AND, the software is looking for the terms as a phrase.
Use the "FindIT" button in the databases to help locate the items. Many of the journals are available online.
Cite your sources as you work, It is far easier to keep track if you record the information about your sources as you go. We offer Refworks, EndnoteWeb, and help in using them in the library. You can also use free citation managers like Zotero and Mendeley. The article below is an example of APA style citation.
Bradshaw, J. E., Gemmell, D. J., Gowers, S. and Wilson, R. N. (2002), Turnip (Brassica rapa L. ssp. rapifera Metzg.) population improvement and cultivar production. Plant Breeding, 121: 301–306. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0523.2002.737334.x
Brassica rapa L. --what is it?
The Brassica rapa L. in its various forms may be used as food or feed as leaves, roots, and seeds. This plant is a crucifer, or cruciferous (for the cross-shaped appearance of the four-petaled flowers). It is a member of the same genus but not the same species as cabbage, mustard, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others. It is sometimes grown in rotation as a cool season crop, as a green manure, or for grazing. It is also used for phytoremediation in some circumstances. The same vigorous habits that make it useful and easy to study in experiments can make it a difficult plant to control. It can become an invasive weed.
Wisconsin Fast Plants is a trade name for a set of varieties, developed specifically to provide plants that bloomed and made seed quickly for experiments. They are also called "rapid cycle" or "rapid cycling" because they go from seed to plant to seed in about 40 days. This makes them useful for phytotoxicity studies, genetics studies, and for general science classes to demonstrate plant life cycles.
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