Lecture Two Title: Vegetative Propagation Introduction Man has propagated plant material almost as long as he has cultivated the land to produce food. For a long time, plant material was propagated mainly by using the seeds of existing plants. Better methods were discovered over time, methods that allowed the farmer to retain the desirable qualities of the plant material, while eliminating some of the less desirable qualities. Through these methods, the farmer was also able to eliminate the variations between plants of the same cultivar and produce more consistently.
Today, farmers buy their plant material consisting of seed and seedlings from commercial seed companies or nurseries. The farmer is able to obtain plant material of a wide variety of cultivars, and that has qualities most suited to his specific environment. Definition: Plant propagation refers to the multiplication of plant material of a specific cultivar, variety, breeding line or strain that possesses desirable characteristics, (such as fruit shape and internal quality) in such a way that more daughter plants are obtained from the mother plant.
There are two methods of plant propagation: ?Sexual(seed) -entails the recombination of genetic material, resulting in progeny that differ from each other and from their parents. Asexual (also called vegetative reproduction because it simply involves the growth of parts which eventually become detached to form new plants. Since the new parts are produced by ordinary cell division (mitosis), they are direct copies of the original, with no input from another individual as in sexual reproduction) – progeny are genetic copies of the parent plant (clones).