Heterosis: Complementation by Mitochondria

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Science  17 Jun 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3729, pp. 1640-1642
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3729.1640


Many (but not all) hybrids between two genetic pure lines show heterosis; that is the hybrids grow more rapidly or larger than the parental pure lines. The mechanism is not known. Two corn crosses were studied. In one hybrid known to exhibit heterosis, the mitochondria and an artificial 1:1 mixture of parent mitochondria showed heterosis with respect to oxidation and phosphorylation. In the other cross, neither the hybrid plant, its mitochondria, nor the mixture of parent mitochondria showed heterosis.