Reproduction and cloning
People may want to clone a plant deliberately. Cloning of plants has many important commercial implications. It allows a successful variety of a plant to be produced commercially and cheaply on a massive scale in a short space of time.
The simplest way to clone a plant involves taking a cutting. A branch from the parent plant is cut off, its lower leaves removed and the stem planted in damp compost. Plant hormoneshormones: Chemical messengers produced in glands and carried by the blood to specific organs in the body are often used to encourage new roots to develop. The cutting is usually covered in a clear plastic bag at this stage to keep it moist and warm. After a few weeks, new roots develop and a new plant is produced. The method is easy enough for most gardeners to do successfully.
Another way of cloning plants is by tissue culture, which works not with cuttings but with tiny pieces from the parent plant. Sterile agar jelly with plant hormones and lots of nutrients is needed. This makes tissue culture more expensive and difficult to do than taking cuttings.
Tissue culture involves the following steps:
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