OCR F215 Cloning in Plants and Animals

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
5.2.1 Cloning in Plants and Animals
(a) outline the differences between reproductive and nonreproductive cloning
Clones ­ genes, cells or whole organisms that carry identical genetic material because they are derived from the
same original DNA.
Reproductive cloning generates genetically identical organisms.
Nonreproductive cloning generates cells, tissues and organs ­ can replace those damaged by diseases or
The advantages of using cloned cells include:
Cells won't be rejected as they're genetically identical to an individual's own cells.
Prevent waiting for donor organs to become available for transplant.
Cloned cells can be used to generate any cell type because they are totipotent . Damage caused by some
diseases and accidents cannot currently be repaired by transplantation or other treatments.
Using cloned cells is less likely to be dangerous than a major operation such as a heart transplant.
There are many possibilities for nonreproductive cloning , including:
The regeneration of heart muscle cells following a heart attack .
The repair of the nervous tissue destroyed by diseases such as multiple sclerosis .
Repairing the spinal cord of those paralysed by an accident that results in a broken back or neck.
These techniques are often referred to as therapeutic cloning . However, there are some ethical issues concerning
whether cloning should be used in humans. There are ethical objections to the use of human embryonic material
and some scientific concerns about a lack of understanding of how cloned cells will behave over time.
(b) describe the production of natural clones and in plants using the example of vegetative propagation in
elm trees
Natural Vegetative Propagation:
Vegetative propagation is form of asexual reproduction of a plant. Only one plant is involved and the offspring is
the result of one parent . The new plant is genetically identical to the parent.
1. Runners ­ stems that grow horizontally above the ground. They have nodes where buds are formed, which
grow into a new plant, e.g. strawberries and spider plant.
2. Tubers ­ new plants will grow out of swollen modified roots called tubers. Buds develop at the base of the
stem and then grow into new plants, e.g. potato and daliahs.
3. Bulbs ­ a bulb contains an underground stem , with leaves containing stored food attached. At the centre of
the bulb is an apical bud , which produces leaves and flowers . Also attached are lateral buds , which produces
new shoots, e.g. daffodils.
4. Basal sprouts (root suckers) ­ the suckers grow from meristem tissue in the trunk close to the ground,
where least damage is likely to have occurred, e.g. elm trees and mint. Root suckers help the elm spread,
because they can grow all around the original trunk. When the trunk dies, the suckers grow into a circle of
new elms called a clonal patch . This, in turn, puts out new suckers so that the patch keeps expanding as far as
resources permit.

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
Advantages Disadvantages
A large number of elm trees can grow in one area Dutch elm disease ­ a fungal disease that affected
as asexual reproduction is much faster = larger Europe's elm trees . Once an elm is destroyed by
supply of wood. the Dutch elm disease, it grows root suckers
Elm trees grow quite close together = easy to which shortly after become destroyed too.
harvest.…read more

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
(d) discuss the disadvantages and disadvantages of plant cloning in agriculture
Advantages Disadvantages
Micropropagation is much faster than selective All the plants will be susceptible to any new pest ,
breeding ­ huge numbers of genetically identical disease or environmental change , e.g. the potato
plants can be generated from a single plant. famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1851.…read more

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F215 Module 2: Biotechnology and Gene Technologies
Genetically modified animals, for example sheep Excessive genetic uniformity in a species makes it
that produce pharmaceutical chemicals in their unlikely to be able to cope with, or adapt to,
milk, can be quickly reproduced. changes in the environment .
Splitting embryo maintains variation whilst giving It is still unclear whether animals cloned using the
desired traits. nuclear material of adult cells will remain healthy
in the longterm.…read more


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