3.5 - D - Cloning in Plants
Clones are groups of genetically identical organisms that are derived from a single original parent cell. Cloning is the process through which these identical organisms are produced. The size of clones can range from two (i.e. identical twins) to hundreds (i.e. crops of commercially grown plants).
Organisms that reproduce asexually, which results in genetically identical organisms. Sexual reproduction produces genetically different organisms as a result of gamete fusion.
Many plant and some animal species have natural methods of cloning. Those used by plants can include:
For example, a single garlic bulb uses food stores to grow leaves, which produce enough energy to produce a group of bulbs. Strawberry plants can grow long horizontal stem, which can grow its own roots. This allows it to become independent of the parent plant while still having the same genetic information.
Stem cutting is a method of artificially cloning plant species. It involves cutting the stem of a plant and allowing it to grow roots necessary to function independently. Review the process below and consider how you could study the effect of a factor on the rooting of stem-cuttings.