by Natalia KUTLUNINA, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), Assistant Professor, Botany Department, Ural Federal University; Mikhail KNYAZEV, Cand. Sc. (Biol.), Botanical Gardens laboratory head, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Clonal organisms are not only a product of science laboratories, they are common to living nature, too. Natural clones, however, harbor quite a few riddles. Say, how a plant not capable of seminal reproduction-and this happened long ago-could have propagated over a territory hundreds of square kilometers large, getting ahead of fully sound rivals. Why do some clones find themselves outside the ravages of time and ambient environment? Clonal organisms are not destroyed by age, they are not devoured by all kinds of protean enemies. Sluggish and immobile, they survive in this ever changeful world. How come? No cogent explanations so far. Even though our hypotheses are not self-evident, they may prod one toward further research.
Parthenogenesis (virginal reproduction) occurs both in invertebrates and in large vertebrates. Photo: VARANUS KOMODOENSIS hatching from a parthenogenetic egg.
Polyploid parthenogenetic races of the weevil (OTIORHYNCHUS NODOSUS) are of much wider occurrence in Europe (hatched) than bisexual diploid races (black). (C. Grebelny, 2009.)
Cloning means getting several genetically identical organisms by asexual reproduction, either under natural or laboratory conditions. Such organisms are called "clones". The word-"clone", "cloning"-came into Russian from English, though originally it springs from Greek (кλωυ) standing for a "twig", "shoot", "sprout". At first it denoted a group of plants evolved from one "parent" vegetatively. Subsequently this term came to be applied to bacteria and animals, and, hypothetically, to man and identical lines of his common ancestor. Most often it denotes the technology of obtaining genetically identical organisms, a procedure known a ... Читать далее