Genes gives clues to outcome of species interbreeding

Conflicts in DNA may explain why some hybrids are evolutionary dead ends

By Tina Hesman Saey, 16:52 PM May 20, 2014

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. — When different species mate and produce hybrid babies, the result can be an evolutionary dead end or an entirely new species. New research is revealing the molecular details leading toward a new evolutionary route or back toward the parental species.

Even though some hybrid offspring — such as mules — are sterile, many pairs of species can produce fertile hybrids. That doesn’t necessarily mean the birth of new hybrid species, as evolutionary geneticist Molly Schumer ...

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