Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have cloned plants as seeds for the first time. According to one of the scientists, Simon Chan, they were trying to make a hybrid that breeds true, that even if it undergoes sexual reproduction, the offspring would be genetically identical to one parent.
In a previous study conducted last year, Chan and his team were able to breed haploid Arabidopsis plants carrying chromosomes from only one parent. After fertilization, the chromosomes from one of the parents are discarded. In the new study they crossed these plants with two mutants that can produce diploid eggs. The results of the experiment showed that "in about one-third of the seeds produced, the diploid eggs were successfully fertilized, and the chromosomes from one parent were eliminated, leaving a diploid seed that was a clone of one of its parents."
The researchers hopes to produce crop plants that can fertilize themselves and yield clonal seeds.
Read the media release at http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9766.