Last Updated: August 15, 2017

Definition - What does Cloning mean?

In biology, cloning is the process of creating a genetically identical duplicate of a life form. In horticulture, cloning is a common occurrence. With asexual plant reproduction, it is a primary way of producing genetically identical offspring.

Simple plant life such as fungi clone themselves naturally through the production of spores.

MaximumYield explains Cloning

In the greenhouse, cloning most often takes place via plant cuttings from mother plants. Certain species of plants can have a leaf removed and rooted in soil to produce an exact genetic copy of itself.

In a greenhouse setting, it is common to dip a stem cutting in a hormone solution before potting in order to expedite the cloning process.

In nature, cloning takes place all of the time with succulents like hens and chicks and many other plants. The plant may droop to the point of touching the ground and grow roots, at which point an offspring with the exact same genetics is produced.

In other cases of cloning, a leaf may simply fall from a plant and reproduce a genetically identical copy of the parent (mother plant).

Many shrubs and bushes, including the species symphoricarpos, naturally use cloning for reproduction. A bridal wreath or corral berry will send out a shoot which touches the soil, roots and a new plant is formed.

Cloning is also how some vegetables like potatoes reproduce, as tubers are genetically identical to the parent plant.

This definition was written in the context of horticulture
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