Are there "Identical Twin" plants?

George Hammond ghammond at mediaone.net
Fri Dec 15 21:24:53 EST 2000


Dear Bionet:
   I am a Physicist not a Biologist.  I have a simple
question about asexual plants.

   At the following URL:

http://www.uwc.ca/pearson/biology/asex/asex.htm

We find the following statements:

"Asexual reproduction does not allow genetic variation,
but guarantees reproduction (no dependence on others).
It rapidly increases numbers of an organism and keeps
its desired combination of traits."

"Economically speaking, it is very beneficial to reproduce
plants asexually. It guarantees a "perfect" product every
time because once the desired combination of genes is found,
there is no need to risk losing it through sexual reproduction."

[Hammond]
  Now, a Potato, some forms of Garlic, Gladiolas, Strawberries,
etc. are examples of asexually reproducing plants described above.
  What I want to know is this for instance:  Is it possible
to actually plant 100 acres of Potatoes.. producing many
metric-tons of potatoes, and actually have each and every one
of these Potatoes ABSOLUTELY GENETICALLY IDENTICAL:

1.  Is this "theoretically" possible?
2.  Has anyone ever done it?

As far as research is concerned, this would be the equivalent
of "Identical Twins" testing in Psychology... only now we
would have a database consisting of MILLIONS of Identical Twin
Potatoes.  Is this correct?

  The reason I ask, is that the question has come up as to
whether you can actually PROVE that there is such a thing as
a "growth curve variation" which is ABSOLUTELY INDEPENDENT
of "genetics".  It seems to me, simply measuring the yearly
crop yield variation in such a planting of "Identical Twin
Potatoes" would prove that such a thing exists.  Has this
already been proven.  Is it a commonly known biological
fact of Plant Biology?

Thanks in advance,
George Hammond, M.S. Physics/Psychology
-- 
BE SURE TO VISIT MY WEBSITE, BELOW:
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George Hammond, M.S. Physics
Email:    ghammond at mediaone.net
Website:  http://people.ne.mediaone.net/ghammond/index.html
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