Selective Breeding

Hybridization

Annika Lamb

We are investigating hybridization as a way to improve the adaptive potential of species.

Hybridization can increase genetic variation, break genetic correlations that constrain evolvability of parental lineages, and assist species to acquire adaptive traits.

When purebred and hybrid Acropora offspring were exposed to elevated temperature and pCO2, we observed higher survival and larger recruit size in some hybrid offspring.

Further, interspecific hybrids had high fertilization rates, normal embryonic development, and similar Symbiodinium uptake and photochemical efficiency as purebred offspring.

While the fitness of these hybrids in the field and their reproductive and backcrossing potential remain to be investigated, current findings provide proof-of-concept that interspecific hybridization may produce genotypes with enhanced climate resilience, and has the potential to increase the success of coral reef restoration initiatives.

More information:
Chan, WY, Peplow, LW, Menendez, P, Hoffmann, AA and MJH van Oppen (2018) Interspecific Hybridization May Provide Novel Opportunities for Coral Reef Restoration. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00160

Annika Lamb

Annika Lamb