Nature 139, 852-852 (15 May 1937) | doi:10.1038/139852a0

Hybrid Vigour in Plants


INCREASED vigour over either parent of the product of the cross between two inbred lines has been frequently reported in plant breeding and, through vegetative propagation, efforts have been made, especially with trees, to make practical use of the phenomenon. It is usually explained, in Mendelian terminology, as the result of association of several genes for size which had been isolated in either parent, and subsequent loss of vigour in succeeding generations is attributed to segregation. There has been little analysis, however, of the factors contributing to the heterosis or hybrid vigour during the development of the hybrid, -so that considerable interest is attached to a recent series of papers by Dr. Eric Ashby, which have brought to light some most unexpected features of this process in specific cases.



  1. Ann. Bot., 44 (1930) and 46 (1932).
  2. Ann. Bot., N.S., 1, 11–42 (1937).