Cloning entails transferring the nucleus from the donor and replacing it in the empty nucleus space of the egg cell. It is a frequent process that is applied in the current world to obtain organism with certain suitable genes. The success of the cloning process depends on a number of factors. This paper analyses the process of nucleus transfer.
The process of nucleus switch involves two parts. First procedure is the elimination of the nucleus from the egg cell. Secondly, the nucleus is replaced with the nucleus from the donor cell. The resulting clone has the genetic residences of the donor cell. The process of cloning involves two cells. The woman gamete is one of the cells used, and the somatic cell is another one. The female eggs are obtained from the females who are willing to donate. Somatic cells can be obtained from any part of the body. For instance, somatic cells can be achieved from the skin, fat, and liver. The nucleus of the donated egg cell is removed and discarded leaving the egg with no nucleus. The cell without nucleus is said to be deprogrammed.
The nucleus of the somatic cell is then removed and preserved to be used in the cloning. The somatic cell that remains without the nucleus has no use and is discarded too. The next step is the fusion of the somatic cell with the egg cell that has no nucleus. The somatic nucleus occupies the empty nucleus space in the egg cell. The egg cell then starts to divide due to the shock of the new nucleus. It begins to split only if the process is successful. The host cell ( ovum) starts reprogramming the somatic nucleus. At this point, the ovum is able to produce an embryo that has all the genetic properties of a single parent (Bader, 2012). The embryo will be developed after the cell undergoes many mitosis divisions. A clone that will be produced will have identical genetic features of the parent. In cases of the reproductive cloning, the resulting embryo will be attached to the host mother for further development.
There are key things to ensure for the process to be successful. First, the nucleus from the donor must be able to reprogram all the genes. Another key aspect is that the nucleus must be introduced into a cytoplasm that is capable of remodeling. The resulting embryo (clone) must be cultured in a harmonious environment to enhance development and success of the process.
The plasma membrane is thin boundary that surrounds cells. It is only two molecules thick. It plays a critical role in the transfer of nutrients in and out of the cell. The nucleus that is introduced in the host requires nutrients for mitotic division. Therefore, the cell membrane is the passage of the nutrients required in the cloning process. The basic role of the plasma cell membrane is to protect the inner contents of the cell. The nucleus from the donor is protected by the plasma cell membrane of the host cell. The cloning process is delicate, and thus the membrane has to protect the nucleus during the process. The cell membrane consists of a phospholipid bi layer. The layers are thin and sandwiched together (Langwith, 2012).
The first step is the removal of the nucleus from the egg. This step is delicate and requires a lot of care when doing. It must be done in a way so that the cell membrane of the host is not interfered or broken. This is because the membrane will have to protect the nucleus that is yet to be inserted in the next step. When the cell membrane is broken or interfered, the cloning process may not be successful. Step two of the process deals with the insertion of the nucleus from the donor to the nucleus space in the egg cell. This step involves the cutting and fixing of the cells. It is done using a special enzyme called endonuclease. This enzyme ensures that only the DNA strand of the nucleotide is cut and the rest organelles are not interfered with including the cell membrane. This step enhances the compatibility property of the plasma membrane. It ensures that the nucleus has all the contents that will fit in the empty nuclear space of the egg cell.
When the cloning process is successful, the result is introduced into a host where the development of the embryo will take place. The semi permeability of the cell membrane is still critical at this step (Langwith, 2012). The environment for the developments of the clone has to be in good condition for success at the end. Thus, the plasma membrane has to enclose the contents of the cell to give the introduced nucleus an ample time for replication. The compatibility property of the clone to the host mother has to be considered in the cloning process.
Cloning process has several applications in plants and animals (Langwith, 2012). The successful process results into organisms with desirable characteristics. The identical twins are examples of natural cloning process. The process can also be done in the laboratory by scientist to come up with wanted characteristics of plants and animals. Properties and functions of the plasma membrane play a significant role in the process as discussed in the paper.
Bader, J. (2012). Concepts & applications of cloning (biological process). Delhi: English Press.
Langwith, J. (2012). Cloning. Detroit: Greenhaven Press/Gale Cengage Learning.