Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!
Print

Science

Cloning

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Next

Plants can make identical copies of themselves by asexual reproduction, for example by tubers and runners. Humans have been cloning plants for years and have recently started to develop techniques to clone animals.

However, animal cloning raises ethical issues about how far humans should interfere in the production of new life.

Cloning

Asexual reproduction

Plants can make identical copies (clones) of themselves. Many plants have ways of increasing their numbers by asexual reproduction – new plants are created by repeated cell division:

Strawberry plant with runners - stems growing sideways

  • A potato plant can produce many tubers, each of which can grow into a new plant.
  • Strawberry plants and spider plants produce long stems with tiny plants on the end. These runners can produce several new plants from one parent.

It's fairly easy to artificially produce new plants by taking a cutting, and waiting for the cutting to develop new roots and leaves.

Plant cutting

Cutting being dipped in hormone rooting powder before planting

Page:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Next

Back to Living and growing index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.