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Plant Cell. 2010 Jul;22(7):2105-12. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.076133. Epub 2010 Jul 9.


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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


Heterosis refers to the phenomenon that progeny of diverse varieties of a species or crosses between species exhibit greater biomass, speed of development, and fertility than both parents. Various models have been posited to explain heterosis, including dominance, overdominance, and pseudo-overdominance. In this Perspective, we consider that it might be useful to the field to abandon these terms that by their nature constrain data interpretation and instead attempt a progression to a quantitative genetic framework involving interactions in hierarchical networks. While we do not provide a comprehensive model to explain the phenomenology of heterosis, we provide the details of what needs to be explained and a direction of pursuit that we feel should be fruitful.

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