These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Using Tissue Culture and 'Cloning' for Rare Plant Conservation

In this resource, students carry out a 'cauliflower cloning' tissue culture practical to investigate totipotency in plants. The practical is placed in the context of a STEM careers case study, to give students a broader understanding of the underlying science.

Students are introduced to Jonathan Kendon, a conservation biotechnologist who works in the Conservation Biotechnology Department at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew. Jonathan specialises in conserving endangered plant species from around the world, using tissue culture among other techniques. In this short case study, he talks about his work.

Our well-known cauliflower cloning practical is based on a micropropagation technique developed by Jonathan's colleagues at Kew. Students will read about Jonathan, carry out the practical, and then consider how micropropagation can be used more broadly for conservation. This can then be broadened out into a wider consideration of seed banks, conservation, food security and crop breeding.

This resource includes full teachers' notes, foundation, higher, extension and plenary activities, a case study, a students' worksheet and technical notes for the practical.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category One Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.