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To test the method the team collected a diversity panel of 151 strains of a grass called Aegilops tauschii.A progenitor of modern wheat, this wild relative contributed the D-genome pillar in bread wheat.(19 December 1997) proclaimed Dolly to be the “breakthrough” of the year.
The reasons for cloning are more complex than simply producing identical animals, and in this article we consider those reasons and the results that have been obtained with the procedure.
We place cloning in the historical context of developmental biology and review results obtained with the procedure.
Even now, several years later, Dolly (Wilmut et al. 1998, Wakayama and Yanagimachi 1999) and calves (Kato et al. 1999), all cloned from adult cells, continue to evoke fascination. We believe that because Dolly was the first animal cloned from an cell, she stimulated scientists, theologians, ethicists, journalists, and politicians to contemplate the application of cloning to humans.
The point of this article is not to reconsider the extension of cloning to humans, a subject that has already been covered (e.g., Silver 1997, Kolata 1998, Nussbaum and Sunstein 1998), but to consider the genuine rationales that stimulated the original and continuing efforts in cloning research.
Cloning was never intended as a procedure for the simple multiplication of animals.
Frogs are cheap in the United States, as are sheep in Scotland.
This is because wild relatives contain a host of unworkable agronomic traits such as long generation times and seed shattering which make combining them with elite varieties extremely difficult.
The new method, combines high-throughput DNA sequencing with state-of-the-art bioinformatics.
The work in wild wheat is being used as a proof of concept, preparing the way for the method to be utilised in protecting many crops which have wild relatives including, soybean, pea, cotton, maize, potato, wheat, barley, rice, banana and cocoa.
Modern elite crops have, in the search for higher yields and other desirable agronomic traits, lost a lot of genetic diversity especially for disease resistance.