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This is a discussion on Clones? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; What is the difference between a cloned plant and a divided plant, other than the ...
What is the difference between a cloned plant and a divided plant, other than the fact they are produced differently? Are the clones the same as the mother plant? Why do they say that variation could happen?
Well, it was bound to happen: you just opened a HUGE can of worms.... Excellent question though.
Here's the short answer: (it's past midnight, the Mother's Day crush is on, and I have to get to bed..)
A cloned plant is a vegatative division just a like a regular division is, only the dividing is done on the cellular level instead of the macroscopic level. Single cells are cultured and induced to grow into entirely new plants, so something that gets an AOS FCC award, for example, can get cloned by the thousands into supposedly genetically identical individuals. The thinking was, "Wow! Awesome way to make a lot of money off of awarded crosses!"
Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out. Clones are *supposed* to be exact replicas of the mother plant (and logically, that would make sense: they *are* actual replicas) but it was found that differences kept cropping up: certain traits expressed dominantly in the mother plants were expressed recessively in the clones, so the flowers ended up looking different. They weren't getting "carbon copies" on the macroscopic level.
*Why* and *how* that happens in terms of DNA, you'd have to ask a biochemist or geneticist about. But it's a topic of much debate and frustration in orchid circles....