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Bioscience in brief

What are intraspecific or F1 hybrids?

Maize F1 hybrids


What is hybrid vigour?

  • F1 hybrids tend to be bigger, develop faster, and more fertile than either parent.
  • Hybrid vigour depends on parents being different.
  • Why?  Hypotheses:

masking of undesirable recessive alleles
> (Alternate forms of genes) from one parent some combinations of alleles are especially
> Advantageous when paired in the offspring e.g. an heterozygous individual.

F1 hybrids are uniform in appearance and behaviour:

–enables farmer to treat and harvest crop at the same time uniformity
–has marketing advantages when sold to buyers with strict quality standards)
  • F1 hybrids have hybrid vigour (makes crops more   competitive with weeds)
  • F1 hybrids are selected for high yields and for improved grain quality
  • A particular F1 hybrid line can be selected for specific pest and disease resistances or for tolerance to stress (such as drought)


Photo Credits:
Plants in the field: Courtesy of Jun Cao, Schnable Lab, Iowa State University
Ears of corn: Courtesy of Ruth Swanson-Wagner, Schnable Lab, Iowa State University