Interspecific Hybridisation

Interspecific hybridisation is a type of mating technique. This is used in the animal breeding process to produce useful progeny. In interspecific hybridisation, males and females of two different species are bred together. Usually, they are from the same genus. In most cases, the progeny combines the desirable features of both parents.

Interspecific Animal Hybrids

The cross between animals of the same genus but different species is known as interspecific hybridisation. Here are some examples of such hybrid animals.

  • Mule – The mule is a progeny of a female horse and a male donkey.
  • Liger – An offspring of a female tiger and a male lion.
  • Zebroid or Zonkey – An offspring of a female donkey and a male horse.

Liger and Mule

Interspecific Plant Hybrids

Plant progenies can also be produced with interspecific hybridisation techniques. The following are some examples of interspecific plant hybrids.

  • Tangelo – It is a hybrid between two citrus genera. Citrus fruit like orange is crossed with grapefruit or pomelo.
  • Limequat – A hybrid variety from the crossing of key lime and kumquat.
  • Jostaberry – It is a complex hybrid involving three different species of the same genus. It involves the crossing of coast black gooseberry, blackcurrant and European gooseberry.

Also see: Hybridization, Hereditary and Evolution


  • A superior offspring is produced, which has desirable characteristics of both parents. Hence, economically beneficial organisms can also be obtained.
  • Also, disease-resistant and high-yielding varieties can be obtained by picking desirable genes.
  • Sterile organisms are produced in this process. Thus, the unwanted proliferation of the population is controlled.

Also Explore: Improvement in Crop yield

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a hybrid?

When organisms from two different genera or species are bred together, it is termed hybridisation. The resulting progeny is called a hybrid. The hybrids need not be an equal combination of both the parents.


Are all hybrids sterile?

Most of the hybrids are sterile. They have an extra chromosome that disrupts the usual meiosis process. Hence, viable gametes are not produced. Also, not all hybrids are infertile. A few female hybrids (female ligers, female mules) have been bred with the original parent population.


What is intraspecific hybridisation?

It is a hybridisation technique involving two individuals from the same species. It can be two different sub-species within a single species. For example, a cross between Siberian tigers and Bengal tigers will produce an intraspecific hybrid.
Also Read:Animal Reproduction

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