Key Difference – Clone vs Asexual Reproduction
Reproduction is one of the fundamental biological processes in living organisms. It is the process in which new offsprings are produced from parent organisms. In the case of microorganisms, new cells are produced from the parent cells. Reproduction can be mainly categorized as sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction is the process where new organisms are produced without the fusion of gametes or reproductive sex cells (sperms and ova). Asexual reproduction is observed in prokaryotes and some plants. Cloning or clone reproduction is an in vitro process of obtaining multiple copies of the same organism using molecular biological and genetic engineering techniques. Cloning is an important process in Recombinant DNA technology. The key difference between asexual reproduction and clone reproduction is the setting of the process. Asexual reproduction is a natural phenomenon that is observed in almost all prokaryotes and some plants, whereas clone reproduction is conducted under in vitro conditions for commercial and research purposes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Clone Reproduction
3. What is Asexual Reproduction
4. Similarities Between Clone and Asexual Reproduction
5. Side by Side Comparison – Clone vs Asexual Reproduction in Tabular Form
What is Clone Reproduction?
Clone reproduction or cloning is an in vitro method of producing multiple copies of cells or multiple copies of organisms under controlled conditions. The clones always resemble the parent cell or the parent organism. Mostly, cloning is done with single cells, but at present, with the advancement of recombinant DNA technology animals and plants are also cloned. Therefore, clone reproduction can be further categorized as cloning unicellular organisms and organism cloning (plants and reproductive cloning in animals).
The basic unicellular organisms are cloned by inoculating the single-celled organisms in a suitable growth media. Thus, the organisms multiply by utilizing the available nutrients in the media forming a clone of cells. These clones are then isolated to be used for various purposes such as secondary metabolite extraction, etc. In addition, these clones can be subjected to mutagenesis or to an antibiotic treatment to observe their different antibiotic susceptibilities.
Cloning of plants involves horticulture techniques. In this process, asexual methods are incorporated under in vitro conditions to produce a clone of new plants. Grafting, budding and plant tissue culture are the most novel techniques used to produce plant clones. Plant tissue culture, which is one of the most promising techniques to produce plant clones, is now widely used in agricultural biotechnology.
Reproductive cloning or artificial animal cloning is a much debated topic, as there are a lot of ethics and social concerns involved in producing animal clones under in vitro conditions. Dolly sheep was the first animal clone produced. The somatic cell nuclear transfer is a common procedure used in animal cloning.
Thus, the discovery of different cloning processes have introduced much rapid, efficient and accurate methods to obtain genetically identical clones of different organisms and thus, is very important in biotechnological applications.
What is Asexual Reproduction?
Asexual reproduction is a natural phenomenon that takes place in organisms especially in prokaryotes and some plants. During asexual reproduction, two parents are not involved as well as gamete cells are not used to produce the new offspring. A single parent is involved in asexual reproduction. The resulting offspring has the identical genetic composition that of the parent cell. Some of the naturally occurring asexual reproduction techniques are now currently used under in vitro conditions to produce clones.
Asexual reproduction is the main form of reproduction in microorganisms. They use asexual reproduction methods such as fission, budding and fragmentation to produce new cells from existing parent cells. Asexual reproduction of microorganisms is a rapid technique.
In plants, asexual reproduction takes place through different vegetative parts of the plant such as the bulbs, tubers, rhizome or the adventitious roots. Spore production is another main method in which plants as well as some microorganisms (fungi). This process is termed as sporogenesis.
What are the Similarities Between Clone and Asexual Reproduction?
- Both clone and asexual reproduction are processes involved in producing offsprings from parent organism or parent cells.
- Both clone and asexual reproduction forms produce offsprings that are genetically identical to their parents.
- Both clone and asexual reproduction types have different forms.
What is the Difference Between Clone and Asexual Reproduction?
Clone vs Asexual Reproduction
|Cloning or clone reproduction is an in vitro process of obtaining multiple copies of the same organism using molecular biological and genetic engineering techniques.||Asexual reproduction is the process where new organisms are produced without the fusion of gametes or reproductive cells (sperms and ova).|
|Cloning is done under in vitro conditions.||Asexual reproduction mostly takes place under natural conditions.|
|Clone reproduction is widely applied in molecular cloning techniques and in recombinant DNA technology.||Asexual reproduction is applied in natural conditions for plant breeding.|
Summary – Clone vs Asexual Reproduction
Clone and Asexual reproduction are two main methods of producing genetically identical offsprings from parent organisms or cells. Asexual reproduction takes place under natural conditions in prokaryotes and some plant cells. It is a natural phenomenon. Clone reproduction or cloning is an in vitro molecular technique that has the ability to produce clones of organisms under controlled conditions. Cloning is a widely used technique in recombinant DNA technology. This is the difference between clone and asexual reproduction.
1.Editors. “Asexual Reproduction – Definition, Types, Advantages and Examples.” Biology Dictionary, 28 Apr. 2017. Available here
2.“Read “Scientific and Medical Aspects of Human Reproductive Cloning” at NAP.Edu.” National Academies Press: OpenBook. Available here