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Hybrid

From Academic Kids

This article is about a biological term. See hybrid (disambiguation) for other meanings.

In biology, hybrid has three meanings.

  • The first meaning is either the offspring of two different species, or of two different genera.
  • The second meaning of "hybrid" is crosses between populations or cultivars ("cultivated varieties") of a single species. This second meaning is often used in plant breeding.
    • Hybrids between species of the same genus are sometimes known as interspecific hybrids or crosses.
    • Hybrids between different genera are sometimes known as intergeneric hybrids.
    • Animal hybrids are commonly known as crossbreeds or crossbreds.
  • The third meaning is in molecular biology, see Hybridisation (molecular biology).

Ernst Mayr wrote of Gregor Mendel, "He was uncertain about the nature of the kinds of peas he crossed, and, like most plant breeders, he called heterozygotes "hybrids". When he tried to confirm the laws he had found by using "other hybrids" that were actually real species hybrids, he failed. The use of the same term "hybrid" for two entirely different biological phenomena thwarted his later efforts." (This is Biology, 1997, p58f).

Some dog hybrids (used in sense two, above), are becoming increasingly popular and are being bred selectively.

Plant hybrids, especially,are often stronger than either parent variety, a phenomenon which when present is known as hybrid vigour. Plant breeders make use of a number of techniques to produce hybrids.

Interspecific hybrids

Interspecific hybrids are bred by mating two species, normally from within the same genus. The offspring display traits characterisitc of both parents. The offspring of an interspecific cross may be sterile. Sterility is attributed to the different number of chromosomes the two species have, for example donkeys have 62 chromosomes, while horses have 64, mules have 63. Mules and other sterile interspecific hybrids cannot produce viable gametes because the extra chromosome cannot make a homologous pair at meiosis, meiosis is disrupted and viable sperm and eggs are not formed.

Hybrids are often named by the portmanteu method, combining the names of the two parent species. For example, a zeedonk is a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Since the traits of hybrid offspring often vary depending on which species was mother and which was father, it is traditional to use the father's species as the first half of the portmanteau. For example, a liger is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger, while a tigon is a cross between a male tiger and a female lion.

Some animal interspecies hybrids are:

Some plant hybrids include:

Hybrids should not be confused with chimaeras.

Mythological and legendary hybrids

In ancient and modern local folktales, there exist hybrids resulting from the union between a human parent and an animal or a non-human sentient being. Some of these hybrids are crosses with humans and: brownies, nymphs, gods, Moo-Moo (Solomon Island Giant), chimpanzees (Humanzee), aliens, bats (Batboy), snakes/lizards (Naga, Syrictae), dropa, giants, cat people, mermaids, fairies, watchers, demons, dryads, spirits, incubus, succubus, pech, triton, larvae, martes, and others. One example is the Minotaur.da:Krydsning de:Hybrid fr:Hybride pl:Hybryda (biologia)

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