definition of hybrid in biology

A biological hybrid is the genetic combination of different races, genera, or species through sexual reproduction. Genetic experimentation allows the modification of living beings through the crossing of two organisms of different species and as a result a hybrid being is produced.

However, over thousands of years we humans have created new species of plants and animal races without the need to manipulate the genetic code in a laboratory.

Examples of fruits and plants

The female and male seeds are responsible for generating a hybrid. The female flower's stamens are cut off before they can release pollen, and pollen is extracted from the male flower through an aspiration process and the female flower is fertilized with it.

There are many hybrid plant species. Clementine is the result of an accidental hybridization process, since it involves the fusion of two plant species, the mandarin and the bitter orange. The red horse chestnut is a mixture of two different species: Aesculus hippocastanum and Aesculus pavia. The pink grapefruit or grapefruit is a hybrid species spontaneously, as it is obtained from the pampelmusa and the sweet orange. In the botanical classification the banana is known with the denomination Musa x paradisiaca, since these two varieties are the origin of the hybrid.

Examples of animal hybridization between different species

Among the species that can hybridize freely are wolves, dogs, jackals and licaons, but foxes could not be part of a possible cross because the number of their chromosomes is different.

In the feline family there are curious crosses, as domestic cats can be crossed with some wild felines in order to obtain new breeds of cats. On the other hand, tigers, leopards and jaguars can interbreed with each other freely.

Africanized bees, also known as killer bees, are the result of a scientific experiment.

We ourselves, the human species, have starred in hybridization processes throughout history. It must be remembered that the homo sapiens species is the result of crossing other homo species, such as Neanderthals.

Hybrids in fiction

Human fantasy has also created hybrid species, especially in the world of mythology. Some of these beings are the minotaur (the body of a man and the head of a bull), the pegasus (a horse with wings) or the mermaids and the mermen (half fish and half human).

Photos: Fotolia - Jogimie Gan / Itsallgood