Inagricultureandgardening,hybrid seedis seed produced bycross-pollinatedplants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in modern agriculture and home gardening. It is one of the main contributors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output during the last half of the 20th century.The alternatives to hybridization areopen pollinationand clonal propagation.
All of the hybrid seeds planted by the farmer will produce similar plants, while the seeds of the next generation from those hybrids will not consistently have the desired characteristics. Controlled hybrids provide very uniform characteristics because they are produced by crossing twoinbredstrains. Elite inbred strains are used that express well-documented and consistentphenotypes(such as highcrop yield) that are relatively good for inbred plants.
Hybrids are chosen to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, such as better yield, greater uniformity, improved color,disease resistance. An important factor is theheterosisorcombining abilityof the parent plants. Crossing any particular pair of inbred strains may or may not result in superior offspring. The parent strains used are therefore carefully chosen so as to achieve the uniformity that comes from the uniformity of the parents, and the superior performance that comes from heterosis.