Hybrid Fertility
Angler's Mail|November 19, 2019
Hybrid Fertility
The well-travelled freshwater biologist and top angler brings you his fascinating weekly insight into the secret lives of fish.
Dr Ian Welch

Q Can hybrids reproduce? Scott Roberts, via email.

A Hybridisation causes fish biologists all sorts of headaches, from simple taxonomic and identification issues, possibly relating to record claims, to potentially more serious ecological consequences where they are present in open-water environments. The latter is of concern because, contrary to common perception, some fish hybrids are able to reproduce, and they do, therefore, have the potential to impact upon other species.

Simply put, a hybrid is the offspring of two different species. From an evolutionary viewpoint, there are numerous barriers to the existence of hybrids, to maintain the genetic integrity of a species.

The process of reproductive isolation should prevent their existence, which is achieved by a variety of means, from genetic and morphological incompatibility to differing breeding cycles and biological rejection at the cellular level.

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November 19, 2019