Hybridization

Some species of plants can be crossed only with difficulty and the possibility of new forms arising by hybridization is negligible. On the other hand, some plants can be crossed very easily so that large numbers of hybrids have been obtained. New varieties of animals and plants can be obtained either by hybridization, which is often difficult or impossible, or by selectively breeding individuals having wanted traits, Selective breeding of individuals showing unusual traits (usually mutants) has led to many showy varieties of aquarium plants (some Vallisneria and decorative forms of Sagittaria) and fishes (high- or long-finned guppies and sword-tails).

Hybrid formation between known species of Aponogeton is not unusual This unidentified Aponogeton species has very wide undulate leaves.

Hybrid formation between known species of Aponogeton is not unusual This unidentified Aponogeton species has very wide undulate leaves.

Relatively few successful hybrid plants have found their way into aquariums as yet, but the capacity for hybridization is found in many species of aquarium plants. In nature hybrids between some species of Echinodorus, such as E. cordifolius and E. berteroi, are known. Yet it is not really certain that these are true hybrids, for the possibility remains that they are merely forms or variants of the species. Artificial hybrids of these Echinodoms have not yet been created in the aquarium. In Aponogeton, however, hybridization is common. It has been proved that the Asiatic A. crispus, A. echinatus, and A. natans can be easily crossed.' Because the subject is rather complicated, it will be treated in detail later.

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