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What are the advantages of vegetative reproduction?

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Quick Answer

Vegetative reproduction results in new plants that share identical characteristics to the old plant they were propagated from. This method is useful for farmers, who can grow new plants that have the same qualities as old ones.

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Full Answer

Vegetative reproduction reduces genetic variation that normally occurs during sexual reproduction. A farmer with an especially sweet mango plant could use vegetative reproduction to isolate that trait, and produce many more mango plants with the same quality of sweetness.

Wild plants such as bamboo and ginger often use vegetative reproduction on their own. Vegetative reproduction in the wild allows plants to expand their range quicker than sexual reproduction. Natural vegetative reproduction generally occurs in warm climates such as the tropics. Consistent, tropical weather makes it easier for plants to remain genetically identical through vegetative reproduction, as the plants do not have to adapt to drastic seasonal changes.

Some food crops that have been vegetatively reproduced for long periods of time can lose their ability to sexually reproduce and vary their genetics. Examples of this are seedless varieties of bananas and grapes, which no longer have the ability to produce seeds. Many plants that were traditionally grown from seed, such as corn, are now produced primarily through vegetative reproduction.

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