Clone and Characteristics of Clones
Clone is a group of plants produced from a single plant through asexual reproduction or progeny of single plant obtained by asexual reproduction is known as clone.
Thus, asexually propagated crop consists of a large number of clones. Therefore, these crops are also known as clonal crops. All the members of a clone have the same genotype as the parent plant; due to this they are identical with each other in genotype. However, phenotypic differences within clone do not have a genetic base and are purely due to environmental effects.
Characteristics of Clones:
1. Identical Genotype:
All the individual belonging to a single clone are identical in genotype.
2. Lack of Genetic Variation:
The phenotypic variation present within a clone is due to environment only.
3. The phenotype of clone is due to the effects of genotype (G) , the environment ( E) and the genotype X environment interaction ( G X E), over the population mean. Thus, phenotypic differences among clones would be partly due to their genotype and partly due to E and GE components.
Clones are immortal i.e. a clone can be maintained indefinitely through asexual reproduction.
5. Severe Inbreeding Depression:
Clones are highly heterozygous and shows severe loss in vigour due to inbreeding.