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). Meristems are undifferentiated cells; ultimately the continuous cell divisions produce specialised tissues (i.e. xylem and phloem vessels), which go on to build the whole plant.

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How could farmers overcome the problems of cloning crop plants?

One way in which farmers could overcome this problem is by sectioning out a piece of land for the other (non-cloned) plants to be grown. Maintaining the gene pool is paramount, due to the fact of susceptibility of diseases the farmers could rely on plants that survive any changes in the environment. Also, it is beneficial to clone 3 or 4 plants with positive characteristics. This way the chance of infection in one type of clone can be ignored as the farmers ...

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