Genetical Research


The biological improbability of a clone

GUGS  LUSHAI  a1 c1 and HUGH D.  LOXDALE  a2
a1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre (ECORC), Ottawa, Ontario K1A OC6, Canada
a2 Plant & Invertebrate Ecology Division, IACR-Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK


Emperical evidence for intraclonal genetic variation is described here for clonal systems using a variety of molecular techniques and implicating a diversity of mechanisms. However, clonal systems are still generally perceived as having strict genetic fidelity. As concepts of genetic variability move from primary sequence data to include epigenetic and structural influences on genetic expression, the ability to detect changes in the genome at short intervals allows precedence to be given to inherent biological variation that is often analytically ignored. Therefore, the advent of powerful molecular techniques, like genome mapping, mean that our concepts of genetic fidelity within eukaryotic clones and the whole philosophy of the ‘clone’ needs to be re-evaluated and re-defined to replace old unproven dogma in this aspect of science.

c1 Corresponding author. e-mail: Tel: (613) 759 1681/1886. Fax: (613) 759 1701.