The ecology and evolutionary biology of clonal plants: an introduction to the proceedings of Clone-2000
Spontaneous self-cloning or clonality is a wide-spread phenomenon in the plant kingdom, which also occurs in lichens, fungi and in some groups of animals. Clonal growth of plants can manifest itself in many ways such as in the formation of ramets on above- and belowground creeping stems (such as in Strawberries, Bracken or Bamboo), by root suckering (such as in Pawpaw, Robinia pseudoacacia, or Ailanthus) or in the vegetative production of plantlets and bulbils on aerial plant parts (such as in several lilies, grasses, and in the genus Bryophyllum). Clonality can also be achieved by fragmentation of the plant body followed by the regeneration of plant individuals from fragments (such as in many bryophytes and algae), or by the release of asexually produced seeds in apomictic species (such as in dandelions). The common feature and defining principle of all types of clonality is the asexual, vegetative production of offspring individuals, which are genetically identical (or at least extremely similar) to each other and to the parent plant. In other words, clonality is characterized by the fact that offspring individuals are produced from somatic tissue without passing through regular meiotic cell cycles, thereby by-passing sexual recombination of the genetic material.
KeywordsClonal Growth Clonal Plant Vegetative Production Asexual Propagation Root Sucker
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