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    reciprocal cross

    1. By a reciprocal cross between two species, I mean the case, for instance, of a female-ass being first crossed by a stallion, and then a mare by a male-ass: these two species may then be said to have been reciprocally crossed

    2. There is often the widest possible difference in the facility of making reciprocal crosses

    3. The diversity of the result in reciprocal crosses between the same two species was long ago observed by Kolreuter

    4. Gartner, moreover, found that this difference of facility in making reciprocal crosses is extremely common in a lesser degree

    5. It is also a remarkable fact that hybrids raised from reciprocal crosses, though of course compounded of the very same two species, the one species having first been used as the father and then as the mother, though they rarely differ in external characters, yet generally differ in fertility in a small, and occasionally in a high degree

    6. This latter statement is clearly proved by the difference in the result of reciprocal crosses between the same two species, for, according as the one species or the other is used as the father or the mother, there is generally some difference, and occasionally the widest possible difference, in the facility of effecting an union

    7. The hybrids, moreover, produced from reciprocal crosses often differ in fertility

    8. For why should the sterility be so extremely different in degree, when various species are crossed, all of which we must suppose it would be equally important to keep from blending together? Why should the degree of sterility be innately variable in the individuals of the same species? Why should some species cross with facility and yet produce very sterile hybrids; and other species cross with extreme difficulty, and yet produce fairly fertile hybrids? Why should there often be so great a difference in the result of a reciprocal cross between the same two species? Why, it may even be asked, has the production of hybrids been permitted? To grant to species the special power of producing hybrids, and then to stop their further propagation by different degrees of sterility, not strictly related to the facility of the first union between their parents, seems a strange arrangement

    9. The foregoing rules and facts, on the other hand, appear to me clearly to indicate that the sterility, both of first crosses and of hybrids, is simply incidental or dependent on unknown differences in their reproductive systems; the differences being of so peculiar and limited a nature, that, in reciprocal crosses between the same two species, the male sexual element of the one will often freely act on the female sexual element of the other, but not in a reversed direction

    10. As in reciprocal crosses, the facility of effecting an union is often very far from equal, so it sometimes is in grafting

    11. In the second place, it is almost as much opposed to the theory of natural selection as to that of special creation, that in reciprocal crosses the male element of one form should have been rendered utterly impotent on a second form, while at the same time the male element of this second form is enabled freely to fertilise the first form; for this peculiar state of the reproductive system could hardly have been advantageous to either species

    12. It must, however, be owned that we cannot understand, on the above or any other view, several facts with respect to the sterility of hybrids; for instance, the unequal fertility of hybrids produced from reciprocal crosses; or the increased sterility in those hybrids which occasionally and exceptionally resemble closely either pure parent

    13. Again, as in making reciprocal crosses between the same two species, there is occasionally a great difference in the result, so the same thing occurs with trimorphic plants; for instance, the mid-styled form of Lythrum salicaria was illegitimately fertilised with the greatest ease by pollen from the longer stamens of the short-styled form, and yielded many seeds; but the latter form did not yield a single seed when fertilised by the longer stamens of the mid-styled form

    14. We are also led to this same conclusion by considering reciprocal crosses, in which the male of one species cannot be united, or can be united with great difficulty, with the female of a second species, while the converse cross can be effected with perfect facility

    15. He experimented on five forms which are commonly reputed to be varieties, and which he tested by the severest trial, namely, by reciprocal crosses, and he found their mongrel offspring perfectly fertile

    16. Hybrid plants produced from a reciprocal cross generally resemble each other closely, and so it is with mongrel plants from a reciprocal cross

    17. It is generally different, and sometimes widely different in reciprocal crosses between the same two species

    18. The consideration of these facts on dimorphism, as well as of the results of reciprocal crosses, clearly leads to the conclusion that the primary cause of the sterility of crossed species is confined to differences in their sexual elements

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