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Cloning In Plants And Animals Notes

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5.2.1 Cloning in plants and animals Farmers and growers exploit "natural" vegetative propagation in the production of uniform crops. Artificial clones of plants and animals can now be produced. Candidates should be able to:

• Outline the differences between reproductive and non-reproductive cloning. Non-reproductive cloning involves the production of genetically identical cells. Reproductive cloning involves the production of genetically identical complete organisms.

• Describe the production of natural clones in plants using the example of vegetative propagation in elm trees. Commercial plant growers often encourage plants to divide naturally by asexual reproduction when they want to produce genetically identical plants from a parent plant with particular features. For example, it's used to produce a large number of identical roses of the same variety. The disadvantage is that there's no variety within the offspring so for example they may all be susceptible to a certain disease. English Elm Trees: Propagated by removing suckers from the tree in autumn and growing them in a nursery bed. A sucker is a shoot that grows from below ground level, usually from a root. Only mitosis is involved and so the new suckers are genetically identical to the parent. Elm trees can also be "layered": low-growing branches can be pegged down onto the soil in autumn, left until they grow roots and then separated. In the 1960s a new disease began to attack the English Elm Trees. The Elm trees were all genetically identical and so they were all susceptible to the new disease. The disease was transmitted by bark beetles, which live under the bark of the trees. The beetles flew from tree to tree (were the vector). The fungus lived in tunnels created by the beetles and the beetles inadvertently spread the disease to other trees. Attempts to control the disease using tree surgery were unsuccessful as the disease was then carried on the saws so more trees became infected. Tissue culture is vegetative propagation on a very large scale. Large quantities of genetically identical plants can be produced from just one or two parents. Large stocks of a particular variety of plant can be built up quickly and relatively cheaply. As it takes place in a lab it can be done at any point in

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