The tendency of a crossbred individual to show qualities superior to those of both parents. Also called hybrid vigor.
- With overdominance, unlike alleles are postulated to result in a stimulating effect, so that genetic heterozygosity per se produces heterosis.
- Genetic background, heterosis, and sex differences can all have profound effects on chiasma and recombination frequencies.
- The fundamental genetic and physiological causes of heterosis remain poorly understood in plants after nearly a century of exploitation in crop improvement.
Early 20th century: from Greek heterōsis 'alteration', from heteros 'other'.
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