Worlds of David Darling > Children's
Encyclopedia of Science > Could You Ever Live Forever? > Hands On
COULD YOU EVER LIVE FOREVER?
a book in the Could You Ever? series by David Darling
Though you cannot keep a plant
alive forever, you can do the next best thing by producing a clone.
This is an individual that is identical in every way to its parent.
Cut three healthy, medium-sized leaves from an African violet. Such plants
can be bought from a florist or large supermarket. Trim the stem of each
leaf to two inches in length. Dip the stems in rooting compound, and plant
them in a pot of seed and cutting compost. Water the planted stems, then
cover as shown. Put the pot in a warm, sunny place. Remove the bag after
three days. Water as needed from below.
When the new plants are fully grown, compare them with the original. If
you could look inside a cell of ne of the offspring, you would see that
the genes it contains are exactly the same as those of the parent. Genes
carry the chemical "blueprint" for an animal or plant. You can now make
clones of the clones, and so on, so that the genes of the original plant
live on into future generations.