The key difference between interspecific and intraspecific hybridization is that interspecific hybridization occurs between two related individuals belonging to two different species, while the intraspecific hybridization occurs between genetically divergent two individuals of the same species.
Hybridization is the process of mating or crossing off genetically differentiated individuals or groups. The main objective of hybridization is to combine desirable genes present in different organisms. Moreover, hybridization is used in producing pure-breeding progenies. Mating can be done between two individuals of the same species or between two individuals of the different species. Based on that, there are two types of hybridization: intraspecific hybridization and interspecific hybridization.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Interspecific Hybridization
3. What is Intraspecific Hybridization
4. Similarities Between Interspecific and Intraspecific Hybridization
5. Side by Side Comparison – Interspecific vs Intraspecific Hybridization in Tabular Form
What is Interspecific Hybridization?
Interspecific hybridization is the process of mating two individuals of two different species. However, these two species should come from the same genus. It is a type of intragenic hybridization since it includes related individuals. Interbreeding between species is not acceptable and possible based on the biological species concept. However, interbreeding between species or interspecies hybridization is carried out in order to exploit useful genes from the wild and to develop unimproved species to cultivated species, etc.
Some common hybrids that result from interspecific hybridization are mule (male donkey x female horse), hinny (male horse x female donkey) and liger (male lion x female tiger). Furthermore, in sunflower breeding, interspecific hybridization is useful. It broadens the genetic diversity of sunflowers. Besides, the use of interspecific hybridization is increasing in developing fruit crop species in order to utilize naturally occurring sources of pest and disease resistance, fruit-quality components, etc. However, interspecies hybridization can be difficult due to different ploidy levels and genetic incompatibilities. Also, interspecific hybrids have a chance of being sterile.
What is Intraspecific Hybridization?
Intraspecific hybridization is the mating of two individuals from the same species that are genetically distinct. In other words, intraspecific hybridization is the sexual reproduction that occurs within the same species. Therefore, it can occur between different sub-species within a species. Selective breeding is another name for intraspecific hybridization.
In the plant breeding and animal breeding, humans use this selective breeding technique in order to develop desirable phenotypes or traits. However, intraspecific hybridization can cause invasiveness of certain species.
What are the Similarities Between Interspecific and Intraspecific Hybridization?
- Interspecific and intraspecific hybridization are two sexual reproduction methods.
- They result in a hybrid that is genetically different from the parents.
- Moreover, mating is done artificially in both methods.
- These methods increase heterozygosity in the population.
What is the Difference Between Interspecific and Intraspecific Hybridization?
Hybridization is the most widely used breeding approach to develop phenotypes which have desirable traits. Interspecific and intrasepcific hybridization are two types of it. In interspecific hybridization, two individuals from two distinct species are crossed. In intraspecific hybridization, two individuals from the same species are crossed. So, this is the key difference between intersepcific and intraspecific hybridization.
Gene flow occurs between diverged species in interspecific hybridization while the gene flow occurs between two genetically distinct populations of the same species in intraspecific hybridization. Therefore, this is another significant difference between interspecific and intraspecific hybridization.
Summary – Interspecific vs Intraspecific Hybridization
Hybridization is the process of mating genetically different organisms in order to produce desirable traits or phenotypes. Hybridization can be intraspecific or interspecific. Interspecific hybridization is the mating process between individuals of different species. In contrast, intraspecific hybridization is the mating process between the genetically different individuals of the same species. So, this is the key difference between interspecific and intraspecific hybridization.
1. Myers, Vanessa Richins. “Interspecific Hybrid Horticulture Definition.” The Spruce, The Spruce, 27 June 2019, Available here.
1. “Ligers” By Craig Kirkwood (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Cornselection” By John Doebley – Genetically Modified Corn— Environmental Benefits and Risks Gewin V PLoS Biology Vol. 1, No. 1, e8 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0000008 Jornual Pbio (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia