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Can Plant Cloning Be Used Effectively by Produce Growers?

based on 7 ratings
Author: Julianne Blair Bochinski

Purpose

To try to make a more perfect carrot and green bean by cloning rather than using the traditional cultivating methods, which may yield a lesser-quality vegetable or one that contains artificial chemicals and sprays. Also, to determine whether cloning is a faster and more effective means for farmers to grow crops.

Materials Needed

  • Carrot seeds from an unblemished organically grown carrot
  • Green bean seeds (same as above)
  • Pots for plants
  • Vermiculite
  • Greenhouse incubator
  • Seed germination medium
  • Glass beaker
  • Bunsen burner
  • 30 petri dishes
  • Potting soil
  • Scalpel and forceps
  • 5 fluid ounces (150 ml) callus initiation medium
  • Plastic bags
  • 5 fluid ounces (150 ml) clone induction medium

Experiment

Some of the carrot and green bean seeds will be planted in vermiculite (to serve as a control of a traditional cultivating method) and some in the seed germination medium that has been melted into some of the petri dishes. Mer this latter group has grown, they will be transferred to the callus initiation medium then to the clone induction medium. The growth rates of the plants and the quality of their produce will be analyzed in comparison to the control plants and produce.

Procedure

  1. Plant some of the carrot and green bean seeds in pots of vermiculite and put them into the greenhouse incubator. These will serve as the control group.
  2. Melt the seed germination medium in the glass beaker over the bunsen burner and pour it into ten petri dishes equally. When solid, drop some of the carrot and green bean seeds onto the surface of the petri dishes. Growth will show in two weeks. These will serve as the experimental group.
  3. When the plants in the control group are at least 4 inches (11.5 em) tall, uproot them and put them into pots of potting soil. When the experimental plants are also 4 inches (11.5 em) tall, cut their roots and leaves off with the scalpel. Cut their remaining stems into ½-inch (l-cm) pieces. Melt the callus initiation medium in the beaker over the bunsen burner and pour equally into ten other petri dishes. Next, place the stem sections onto the solidified petri dishes. Cover the dishes and put them into plastic bags.
  4. Within a month, shoots will be visible. At this time, melt the clone induction medium and pour it into the remaining ten petri dishes. Using the scalpel, cut around the stem sections, including the callus initiation medium. With forceps, place the cuttings on the solidified clone induction medium. Cover the dishes and place them in the plastic bags.
  5. As soon as growth is detected on the petri dishes, add some soil to the dishes to help the growth along. After these plants have grown a few inches, plant each of them into pots. Continue to care for the plants and observe their overall health and growth and the quality of their produce.

Results

  1. Compare the growth of the seeds that were cultivated in the vermiculite and greenhouse incubator with those cultivated on the seed germination medium. Which plants grew faster? Which seeds look healthier?
  2. Did the carrot plant or the green bean plant grow faster when it was cut and placed on the callus initiation medium?
  3. Did the final plant clones look healthy? Did the difference in their original growth area affect their outcome?
  4. Were the vegetables that were produced from the cloned plants as unblemished as their ancestors? Were they of higher quality than those produced from the control (vermiculite) plants?

 

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