The first genetically cloned animal was Dolly the sheep. As I understand it, this was possible because all that was needed was an embryo containing the cloned genetic material and a womb for that embryo to grow in. Would the same process also work to clone a plant?
I assume that the problem with embryonic cloning techniques and plants stems (forgive the pun) from the need to implant it into a host seed without destroying its ability to germinate. I haven't found a reference that claims this has been attempted... If anyone knows of a study related to this, I would love to read it.
Given my assumption I tried to imagine another way to achieve this goal which lead me here, to pose my question to the brilliant minds of this community:
Is it possible to implant a cloned plant embryo into a synthetic 3d printed seed that would germinate with existing technology.
I know we have successfully 3D printed living tissue using state of the are equipment like the 3d Bioplotter. If you guys don't think it is currently possible then what technological advances would need to be made to achieve this goal.
Note: The answer to my question is relevant to a number of possible applications. A hypothetical "Seed Printer" could be used in a future manned mission to Mars. Due to the logistics of shipping supplies to mars, it could be more practical (cost effective) to ship the raw material needed for printing seeds than it would to send actual seeds.
Edit*: Thanks for the comments, I feel a little foolish for not knowing about artificial seed coats prior to posting this question. In light of new information, I would like to additionally ask:
What are the current limitations of creating artificial seed coats that could possibly be enhanced with the application of 3d printing technology.