Scientists accidentally unearthed an impossible hybrid species trying to trigger the egg development of the Russian sturgeon known as the caviar source. It is not planned to produce more than the new hybrid fish species.
Scientists from the Hungarian Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture Research announced in an article they published in May that they accidentally mate two endangered fish and uncovered a hybrid species.
Attila Mozsár, a senior researcher at the Research Institute, said to The New York Times regarding his work, “We never wanted to play with hybridization. He (crossbreeding) happened absolutely without intent. ” said.
Fish that seemed impossible to exist
Russian sturgeon, one of the hybrid species, is among the endangered species, and this brings both natural and economic problems. Because the Russian sturgeon, which can reach 2.1 meters in length, is one of the largest caviar sources in the world.
Another fish species included in the study, which reaches a length of 2.5 meters, is spoon-mouthed sturgeon, such as the distant relative Russian sturgeon, which is in danger of extinction. According to the information conveyed, these two species had common ancestors 184 million years ago, but later separated.
Hungarian scientists were trying to trigger a process called gynecogenesis to allow Russian sturgeon to breed. In gynecogenesis, sperm cannot trigger the development of the egg, but cannot enter it. For this reason, all born babies get their genes from the mother.
However, something unexpected happened during the gynecogenesis studies, and only the sperm of the spoon-mouthed sturgeon living in certain areas in the USA managed to fertilize it into the egg of the Russian sturgeon, which is a completely separate species.
As a result of the fertilization in question, approximately 100 hybrid fish appeared. Most of the hybrid fish were 50-55 spoon-mouthed sturgeon-Russian sturgeon crossbreeding, while in some fish Russian sturgeon genes were more dominant.
Like many hybrid species in nature, these hybrid fish, which appear accidentally, are not capable of breeding. However, scientists do not want to create more hybrid species by artificial means. Because it is stated that the hybrid species can dominate the Russian sturgeon and bring its generation to the point of extinction.
This study reveals that even if it accidentally produced an unwanted result, even two species separated from each other 184 million years ago could hybridize under abnormal conditions and are not fundamentally different from each other.