Cloning

Definition

noun

The process of creating an exact copy of a biological unit (e.g. a DNA sequence, cell, or organism) from which it was derived, especially by way of biotechnological methods


Supplement

Cloning can be natural or artificial. Examples of cloning that occur naturally are as follows:

  • vegetative reproduction in plants, e.g. water hyacinth producing multiple copies of genetically-identical plants through apomixis
  • binary fission in bacteria
  • parthenogenesis in certain animals

Making multiple copies by manipulation procedures or biotechnology is an artificial cloning. It can be:

  • molecular cloning, where copies of specific gene fragment are produced
  • cellular cloning, where single-celled organisms with the exact genetic content of the original cell are produced in cell cultures
  • organism cloning, or reproductive cloning, where a multicellular clone is created generally through somatic cell nuclear transfer


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