Some plants are said to be self-fertile. An example is Prunus tomentosa.

Assuming that no cross-pollination happened with other plants, if a self-fertile plant such as prunus tomentosa produces a seedling, what DNA will the seedling have? Is the seedling's DNA an exact copy of the parent plant's DNA, or do the genes get rearranged?


Selfing (aka self-fertilizing) differs from cloning. When selfing occurs, the offspring is not an exact copy of the parent. When cloning occurs, the offspring is an exact copy (except for a few mutations) of the parent.

Selfing implies that an individual will produce two gametes (typically a spermatozoid and an ovule but that might be a bit more complicated) and these two gametes are fusing to give the zygote (egg or offspring if you prefer).

As a consequence, when selfing, meiosis is occurring (and therefore segregation and recombination) so that the offspring is not an exact clone of the parent but rather some kind of a rearrangement of the parent genome (with a few mutations of course).

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