• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. May 14, 1996; 93(10): 5090–5093.

Distribution of spontaneous plant hybrids.


Natural hybridization is a relatively common feature of vascular plant species and has been demonstrated to have played an important role in their evolution. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether spontaneous hybridization occurs as a general feature of all plant families and genera or whether certain groups are especially prone to spontaneous hybridization. Therefore, we inspected five modern biosystematic floras to survey the frequency and taxonomic distribution of spontaneous hybrids. We found spontaneous hybridization to be nonrandomly distributed among taxa, concentrated in certain families and certain genera, often at a frequency out of proportion to the size of the family or genus. Most of these groups were primarily outcrossing perennials with reproductive modes that stabilized hybridity such as agamospermy, vegetative spread, or permanent odd polyploidy. These data suggest that certain phylogenetic groups are biologically predisposed for the formation and maintenance of hybrids.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (781K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Whitham TG, Morrow PA, Potts BM. Conservation of hybrid plants. Science. 1991 Nov 8;254(5033):779–779. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...