Strength in difference: Genetic distance and heterosis in China

China offers an almost unique opportunity to investigate heterosis in humans.

Cross-breeding between different species or populations can cause “hybrid vigour”, or heterosis, resulting in offspring who are genetically fitter than their parents. While this phenomenon is widely recognised in some plants and animals, it is poorly understood in humans. In recent work, Dr Chen Zhu of China Agricultural University, along with her colleagues Dr Xiaohui Zhang, Dr Qiran Zhao and […]

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Systems biology and metabolic networks predict heterosis

Identifying plant traits in the lab.

Heterosis or hybrid vigour is the improved function of a desirable quality in hybrid offspring. Predicting heterosis would mean that plant and animal breeding need not depend on time-consuming and costly field tests of numerous combinations. Dominique de Vienne, Professor at the University Paris-Saclay, France, uses metabolic networks and systems biology to study heterosis. Modelling metabolic systems has relied on […]

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