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.
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