Cloning, any of various techniques used to reproduce genetically identical organisms from an individual organism; the organisms so produced are called clones. The term "cloning" also refers to the technique used in genetic engineering to produce identical segments of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), and to the asexual reproduction of organisms in nature.
Cloning is used commercially to reproduce individual plants and animals that have desirable traits. In horticulture, cloning makes it possible to produce a large number of plants with specific characteristics, typically in much less time than it takes to grow the plants from seed. In animal husbandry, cloning makes it possible to produce a group of farm animals with valuable traits in less time and with more certainty than with conventional breeding. Cloning is also used to produce laboratory animals with specific traits.