Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Main Difference – Natural vs Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Vegetative propagation is a type of reproduction method mainly found in plants; this is a process where plants use organs other than seeds or spores for their propagation. It is also called asexual propagation, vegetative reproduction or vegetative multiplication. Natural and artificial vegetative propagation are the two types of vegetative propagation in plants. The main difference between natural and artificial vegetative propagation is that natural vegetative propagation naturally occurs in plants whereas artificial vegetative propagation occurs due to the interference of man. The natural vegetative propagation occurs through roots, bulbs, corms, tubers, suckers, rhizomes, runner, plantlets, etc. The artificial vegetative propagation occurs through budding, grafting, layering, cutting, tissue culture, etc.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Natural Vegetative Propagation
     – Definition, Facts, Methods
2. What is Artificial Vegetative Propagation
    – Definition, Facts, Methods
3. What are the Similarities Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Adventitious Roots, Artificial Vegetative Propagation, Asexual Reproduction, Natural Vegetative Propagation, Phenotypic Characters, Plants

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation - Comparison Summary

What is Natural Vegetative Propagation

Natural vegetative propagation refers to the natural development of a new plant without human intervention. The most significant feature of plants that undergo natural vegetative propagation is their ability to develop adventitious roots from parts other than roots such as leaves and the stem. A new plant may arise from the extensions of the stems, root or leaves of the parent plant. Plantlets with adventitious roots at the margin of a leaf are shown in figure 1.

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Figure 1: Plantlets of Bryophyllum daigremontianum

Rhizomes, bulbs, runners, and corms arise from the stem in natural vegetative propagation. Buds and tubers are the natural vegetative propagation structures that arise from roots while plantlets are the type of structures that arise at the margin of the leaves. Different types of structures involved in the natural vegetative propagation and example plants are described in table 1.

Developmental Structures of Natural Vegetative Propagation in Plants

Developmental structure

Type of Structure

Rhizomes

Modified stems that horizontally grow along the ground surface or underground

Ex: Lilies, irises, orchids, and certain grasses

Runners/Stolons

Modified stems that horizontally grow on or under the surface of the ground

Ex: Strawberry and currants

Bulbs

Swollen, underground stems

Ex:  Garlic, onion, lilies, daffodils, tulips, and shallots

Tubers

Vegetative structures developed from root or stems

Ex: Stem tubers – Potatoes and yams

Root tubers – Sweet potatoes and dahlias

Corms

Enlarged, bulb-like underground stems

Ex: Taro, gladiolus, and crocus

Suckers/Root sprouts

Plant shoots arisen from underground buds

Ex: Apple, cherry, and banana trees, hazel, shrubs, raspberries, gooseberries, and rose

Plantlets

Vegetative structures developed at the margin of leaves

Ex: Kalanchoe, spider plant, hawkweed, dandelion, some citrus, some orchids, and many kinds of grass

Bulbils

Flower-like structures

Ex: Garlic

What is Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Artificial vegetative propagation refers to the artificial development of new plants by means of human intervention. It is used in farming and horticulture to produce crops with desired characters. Cutting, grafting, layering, suckering, and tissue culture are the main types of artificial vegetative propagation. In cutting, a part of a plant such as a leaf or a stem is planted after treating it with hormones that induce root development.

Main Difference - Natural vs Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Figure 2: Layering

In grafting, a cutting of the desired plant is attached to a stem of another plant whose root is in the ground. Eventually, the tissues of the cutting are integrated into the tissues of the base plant. In layering, a branch of a plant is bent in such a way to touch the ground. When the part of the plant is covered with soil, the adventitious roots develop from the stem. The vigorous, vertical growth from the root is known as suckers. In suckering, mature suckers can be cut off from the parent plant to transplant in a new area.

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation_Figure 3

Figure 3: Cercis yunnanensis in Tissue Culture

In tissue culture, plant cells are placed in a sterilized container. The cells develop into the cellus that is then cultured in a hormone-ladened medium for the development into plantlets.

Similarities Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation

  • Natural and artificial vegetative propagation are two methods of asexual reproduction in plants.
  • Both natural and artificial vegetative propagation produce genetically identical offspring to their parents.
  • Both natural and artificial vegetative propagation aid in maintaining the desired phenotypic characters over generations in plants.

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Vegetative Propagation

Definition

Natural Vegetative Propagation: Natural vegetative propagation refers to the natural development of a new plant without human intervention.

Artificial Vegetative Propagation: Artificial vegetative propagation refers to the artificial development of new plants by means of human intervention.

Occurrence

Natural Vegetative Propagation: Natural vegetative propagation naturally occurs in plants.

Artificial Vegetative Propagation: Artificial vegetative propagation occurs under the influence of man.

Examples

Natural Vegetative Propagation: The natural vegetative propagation occurs through roots, bulbs, corms, tubers, suckers, rhizomes, runner, plantlets, etc.

Artificial Vegetative Propagation: The artificial vegetative propagation occurs through budding, grafting, layering, cutting, tissue culture, etc.

Role

Natural Vegetative Propagation: Natural vegetative propagation helps to avoid physical barriers in sexual reproduction.

Artificial Vegetative Propagation: Artificial vegetative propagation helps to maintain desirable characters over generations.

Conclusion

Natural and artificial vegetative propagation are two methods of asexual reproduction in plants. Natural vegetative propagation is naturally occurring in plants while artificial vegetative propagation occurs under the influence of man. The main difference between natural and artificial vegetative propagation is the driving force of each type of vegetative propagation method. 

Reference:

1. Bailey, Regina. “Types of Vegetative Propagation.” ThoughtCo, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Bryophyllum daigremontianum nahaufnahme1″ By Photographer: CrazyD, 26 Octobre 2005 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Layer (PSF)” By Pearson Scott Foresman – Archives of Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia FoundationThis file has been extracted from another file: PSF L-520004.png (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “Cercis yunnanensis -3″ By Joshnadler (talk) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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