Re: Hybrids

Ross Koning (
Fri, 24 Jun 1994 14:44:55 -0500

At 9:26 PM 6/16/94 -0700, Terry Bertozzi - 229112 wrote:

>As far as I am concerned (from a zoological point of view) Separate species
>cannot interbreed to form viable offspring, that is they produce sterile
>hybrids. Is this different in the botanical world, because Sarracenia
>does not fit this criteria? Are we dealing with variants of one species?

The species concept for plants is much different than that for animals.
The ability to mate and produce fertile offspring does not fit into
that. Plants of different species can hybridize. Some produce fertile
offspring abundantly. Some produce offspring that, due to chromosome
mismatch, are sterile; however a FEW of those offspring are fertile
because they have spontaneously doubled their chromosomes and now they
match up fine in meiosis. These are called allopolyploids and can be
quite common. It appears that many species of oaks, for example, are
really just allopolyploid hybrids of "true" species. Without doing some
cytogenetics, you cannot easily detect these allopolyploids.


Ross Koning Internet:
Biology Department Phone: (203)-465-5327
Eastern CT State University Fax: (203)-465-5213
Willimantic, CT 06226 USA