OCR A Level Biology

Revision Notes

6.4.4 Uses of Plant Cloning

Uses of Plant Cloning

Advantages of plant cloning

  • All the plants have the same genotype and hence phenotype
  • The plants produced are free of disease
  • The plants can be genetically modified to confer immunity to certain diseases
    • Genetic modification enables growers to ensure that plants carry very distinct characteristics
  • The process is rapid and can yield large numbers of new plants
  • The small plants that are produced can be transported easily to other sites
  • Plants that are difficult to grow from their seeds can be produced by plant cloning
  • Plants can be grown in any country, in any season
  • Rare and endangered species can be propagated to save them from extinction
  • Whole plants can be created from genetically modified cells/tissues
  • The use of cultivars prevents the risk of F1 hybrids that occur when plants are crossed and grown from seeds, so the products are more uniform

Disadvantages of plant cloning

  • It is an expensive and labour-intensive process
  • The process is susceptible to microbial contamination
  • There is no genetic variation, so all of the offspring are susceptible to the same diseases or other environmental factors
    • This risks large-scale loss of a country’s / continent’s crop of a particular plant, so a range of cultivars is recommended
  • New plants have to be carefully screened for abnormalities that could lead to the new plants being infected
  • There is a risk of an unexpected secondary metabolic chemical reaction that could cause stunted growth or even death in the new explants

Join Save My Exams

Download all our Revision Notes as PDFs

Try a Free Sample of our revision notes as a printable PDF.

Join Now
Already a member?
Go to Top