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Micropropagation/Tissue Culture

If you already have an animal or plant with all the characteristics you want, then it would be ideal just to make loads and loads of identical copies of it. That is what cloning is making; genetically identical copies of organisms. This is done naturally in nature by organisms that do asexual reproduction by mitosis that produce exactly identical organisms.

Only one parent; there are no gametes involved, there is no mix in genetic information and all. The ostrich Ashley identical to each other so that is a type of cloning. Asexual reproduction; another type of cloning that done very easily is taking cuttings from plants has been done for hundreds of years. Gardeners take a separ cut off a stem from a plant that they particularly like and they stick that stem of the plant in the ground and it will grow into the same as their parent.

Plants though can be cloned now in a much more commercial scale by a more scientific process called tissue culture. Now, this is a sophisticated scientific technique which can produce thousands of clones in a short space of time and it’s known as micro propagation. The way you do it is; you find the plant you want with the desired characteristics. First growers can then just take a few plant cells from the tips of the shoots or the roots. We call these ex plants then they sterilize them to clean a micron ism’s and they place them in a little petri dish containing nutrient medium. They say they are grown in vitro. What we mean by that is in a lab outside the normal biological context, this nutrient medium contains all the growth hormones and the nutrients for the shoots and the roots to start growing.

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So, just from a few tiny cells, you can start to get these tiny little plants. Growing the shoots are then removed from those initial ex plants. Once they get going and you can then move those to another Petrich and keep repeating it and repeating and repeating or repeating it. So, from one original plant you can end up getting thousands of ex plants which then will grow under optimal conditions into full size plants which can then be transferred into compost and into greenhouses to develop fully. They will all be identical to the original plant. Again, this is done all the way around the world in order to maximize the yield of certain crops such as bananas.

Now, there’s some good things about cloning plants. You get large quantities of plants very quickly. You can grow plant all year round. You can clone a bit rare or endangered plants to increase populations. New plants grown in sterile conditions so they’re pests and disease free.

If you did genetic engineering on a plant first and then cloned it, you would enough to do genetic engineering again. Because you’ve only had to do that complex process once and then you just clone that one of those at times. However, all the offspring are identical genetically and that means they are very vulnerable to diseases. You also need sterile lab facilities and they’re also really vulnerable to pests.

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