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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Revisiting Plant Heterosis-From Field Scale to Molecules

Rehman, Attiq ur; Dang, Trang; Qamar, Shanzay; Ilyas, Amina; Fatema, Reemana; Kafle, Madan; Hussain, Zawar; Masood, Sara; Iqbal, Shehyar; Shahzad, Khurram;


Heterosis refers to the increase in biomass, stature, fertility, and other characters that impart superior performance to the F1 progeny over genetically diverged parents. The manifestation of heterosis brought an economic revolution to the agricultural production and seed sector in the last few decades. Initially, the idea was exploited in cross-pollinated plants, but eventually acquired serious attention in self-pollinated crops as well. Regardless of harvesting the benefits of heterosis, a century-long discussion is continued to understand the underlying basis of this phenomenon. The massive increase in knowledge of various fields of science such as genetics, epigenetics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics persistently provide new insights to understand the reasons for the expression of hybrid vigor. In this review, we have gathered information ranging from classical genetic studies, field experiments to various high-throughput omics and computational modelling studies in order to understand the underlying basis of heterosis. The modern-day science has worked significantly to pull off our understanding of heterosis yet leaving open questions that requires further research and experimentation. Answering these questions would possibly equip today's plant breeders with efficient tools and accurate choices to breed crops for a sustainable future.


heterosis; hybrid vigor; inbreeding depression; genetic models; molecular basis; crop plants

Published in


2021, volume: 12, number: 11, article number: 1688
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Rehman, Attiq ur
University of Helsinki
Rehman, Attiq ur
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Dang, Trang
ETH Zurich
Qamar, Shanzay
Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science
Ilyas, Amina
Government College University Lahore
Fatema, Reemana
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Fatema, Reemana
Ege University
Kafle, Madan
University of Helsinki
Hussain, Zawar
Ohio University
Masood, Sara
University of Lahore
Iqbal, Shehyar
Avignon Universite
Shahzad, Khurram
Univ Haripur

UKÄ Subject classification

Genetics and Breeding

Publication Identifiers


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