|MadSci Network: Botany|
Lindsey, When a portion of a plant is removed and placed into certain favorable conditions roots will form. The plant parts that may be used include stems, roots or leaves depending on the species. The resulting new plant will be identical to the original plant. This is important when a grower wants to reproduce a desirable characteristic(s) of another plant. Cutting propagation does not change any of the genetic code, it procduces plants with identical genetic characteristics. Propagtion using cuttings is probably the most important method of producing new plants in ornamental horticulture. Deciduous as well as evergreen species are propagated in this manner. There are numerous advantages to propagating plants using cuttings. Many new plants may reproduced in a limited space from only a few stock plants. Cutting propagation is inexpensive and does not require extensive equipment. Greater uniformity is obtained with the individual plants. Often producing plants from seed there is much variation in individual seedling growth. the parent plant is usually reproduced exactly. Tissue culture is a high tech form of cutting propagation. It is expensive to establish and there are rigorous protocols that must be followed. However, once established reproducing plants using tissue culture is a very effective method of plant propagation. David Hershey, Mad Science Administrator adds: Grafting is another method of artificial propagation that can combine two different plants into a single plant. In grafting, a bud or shoot (the scion) is attached to a root bearing stem (the stock or rootstock). For example, dwarfing rootstocks are used to make dwarf fruit trees that bear normal size fruit. Disease resistant rootstocks are also often used. A big advantage of tissue culture propagation is that viral diseases can be eliminated with proper procedures. Reference Hartmann, H.T., Kester, D.E. and Davies, F.T. 1996. Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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