- Large numbers of plants can be grown in sterile conditions ensuring a greater survival rate than would be the case if the seeds were planted outside
- Good quality stock are selected, possessing qualities such as resistance to disease or high yield
- The crop is uniform since the plants are genetically identical. This is important from a commercial viewpoint
- Large numbers of plants can be stored in a small area with reduced heating and lighting costs
- Unique genotypes are preserved
- Reduced space is required for transport
- Only healthy stock are selected, so plant disease can be eliminated
- Time effective as it dispenses with the need for pollination and seed production
- It eliminates the seasonal restrictions on germination
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- Sterile conditions have to be maintained otherwise bacterial or fungal contamination of the culture medium may result in subsequent loss of plants
- The plants are genetically unstable with an increase rate of mutation in medium grown cells leading to abnormality on the plantlets. Regular inspection is needed to remove any defective individuals, thus labour costs are high.
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- Stock is selected for qualities such as disease resistance and hardiness.
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- Time consuming
- Seasonal restrictions
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- Farmers can select individuals with desirable qualities, like high milk yield
- Allows for the conservation of rare breeds
- Allows the surrogate to take the risks of pregnancy and birth
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- Reduced gene pool
- Disease vulnerability.
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- This technique is currently the basis for cloning animals (such as the famous Dolly the sheep), and in theory could be used to clone humans.
- One vision for successful stem cell therapies is to create custom stem cell lines for patients.
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- Progeny may show long term/ unforeseen effects such as premature ageing/ developmental problems
- Clones do not always survive birth
- Many embryos die for one successful attempt
- Moral concerns about the status any created embryo
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