Hybrid Plants: What are they and how are they hybridized?
What are Hybrid Plants?
A hybrid means a mixture of two or more elements. Hybrid plants mean cross-pollinating plants from different varieties to produce seed and then growing the seed. The plant that results from the seed is known as the hybrid plant.
One of the main reasons why the hybridization of plants is practiced is for commercial use. Hybrid plants can be more disease resistant, have bigger or smaller flowers, tastier fruits or even nicer smelling flowers. The hybridization is done based on the commercial needs of the said plant.
How are Plants Hybridized?
The basis of hybridization is that pollen from a different variety of plants has to be used to pollinate a plant from another variety. As the first step, the stamen (male part of the flower) has to be removed from the plant that is to be pollinated. This is crucial to avoid self-pollination. Next, the pollen from another variety of plant is transferred manually to the pistil (female part of the flower) for pollination to occur.
If the pollination is successful, the fruit formed from the flower will be kept for further plantation to review the result. The plant that grows from the seed is the hybrid plant. If the results meet expectations, the hybridization will be repeated and more seeds will be produced and replanted.
Examples of Hybrid Plants
Some examples of hybrid plants include:
- Tangelo: cross between grapefruit and orange
- Plumcot: cross between plum and apricot