What are the Benefits of Cloning Plants?
The concept of cloning plants is not new in science. The practice of cloning plants in water and plant tissue culture can be traced back to ancient times, with the former being an important attribute of Feng Shui in ancient China. While selective pollination is not unknown to us anymore, plant cloning is just a step forward, on a large scale.
- Cloned plants reproduce faster than their normal counterparts, which means the period between planting and harvesting will be reduced by a significant extent.
- If plants are cloned, we won't have to rely on the concept of pollination, which is dependent on various other factors, right from weather to pollinators.
- The genetic engineering to which the plants are subjected to in the process of cloning will make them more disease resistant than their natural counterparts. At the same time, we will be able to grow plants which are not vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides.
- By resorting to cloning, we will be able to make sure that a particular kind of disease, which has already resulted in crop failure before, doesn't raise its head again.
- More importantly, the high yield that the cloned plants promise will come at a low cost, as the overall cost for growing plants will be reduced by a significant extent.
- By resorting to plant cloning, we will be able to ensure that no more plant species become extinct from the planet. In fact, it will be a lifesaving measure for endangered plants.
- While nutritional superiority will be the predominant feature of cloned plants, this will also help us grow plants with medicinal properties and keep various diseases at bay.
- In the end, plant cloning will also facilitate production of 'super plants', i.e., plants which will be high in nutrition content and less resistance to various diseases and pesticides.
While these benefits make the concept seem quite promising, you can't afford to ignore its disadvantages. We need to understand that all plants are susceptible to various diseases and only the best among them survive.
This is the nature's way of ensuring that the best of the genes are carried forward. So, cloning plants will be interfering with this natural process and disrupting the ecological balance. Furthermore, the chances of the crop produced by cloned plants adversely affecting human health cannot be ruled out.