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What are the benefits and drawbacks of cloning plants?

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´╗┐What is cloning (terms of plants)? Cloning is a process of producing genetically identical organisms to the parent plant. During cloning, there is no fusion of gametes and no mixing of genetic information (form of asexual reproduction) as there is only one parent involved. From this, the offspring are genetically identical to the original parent plant (same DNA) as well as to each other. There are various ways in which clones are made commercially/artificially; either by taking cuttings or growing clones from tissue culture. Plants cell division is an active process. The process of cell division is carried out by meristems (unspecialised cells ? found in the bud, side-shoots, stem and root-tip). ...read more.


1. A piece of the adult plant is cut (either stem, root or leaf section cuttings) 2. An additional step, to enable bigger root systems, is that the cuttings can be dipped in hormone rooting powder or planted in soil which contains a rooting compound that facilitates a growth hormone for the plant. 3. Then plant the cutting into a small plant pot containing soil ? water the plant every 2-3 days and place in medium-low sunlight to enable faster growth. 4. After a few weeks the plant cutting would have grown into a full-sized clone. Advantages of cloning There are a variety of benefits of cloning plants commercially. ...read more.


There is still a cost to clone crop plants and to develop the procedure. A cloned population of new plants are less able to deal with other environmental changes (disrupts evolution in nature). It also reduces the ?gene pool? of other plants which may seem to have less beneficial characteristics. How farmers could overcome the disadvantages? 1. Tissue/cell samples of the parent plant are taken 2. The samples are transferred Petri dishes onto agar jelly (nutrient). 3. Auxins/ plant hormones are added to the jelly which enables further cell division to occur. 4. Cells grow very quickly into varying masses of tissue 5. Even more auxins are added to the cell masses which stimulate the growth of stems and roots. 6. The masses develop into plantlets, which are transferred into a pot to grow into plants (clones) ...read more.

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