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Can an organism obtaining a part of its genome via horizontal gene transfer be called a “hybrid”?

Can an organism obtaining a part of its genome via horizontal gene transfer be called a “hybrid”?


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Wikipedia definition of "hybrid" offers many competing definitions. But most seem to be centered on sexual-reproduction gene transfer.

Is there an official (in a textbook or widely accepted peer reviewed work) definition of a "hybrid"/"hybridization" that would clearly include ANY genetic mixing, most specifically obtaining genes via horizontal gene transfer?

If not, is it specifically because "hybrid" requires sexual reproduction, or merely because it requires a certain minimal amount of inherited genetic material from both sides, and horisontal genetic transfer in practice involves significantly less genetic material being inherited?


As you point out, there isn't a singularly accepted biological defnition of 'hybrid.' The most basic would be a single organism that exhibits traits of two individual organisms, but that will find perfectly acceptable disagreement depending on who you talk to. You, for instance, are human - but a hybrid of your parents' genomes.

So I would personally say that horizontal gene transfer is equivalent to gene inheritance, and that as long as the organism exhibited traits of both 'parent' individuals - then yes, it is a hybrid. Some might include that even if it didn't exhibit traits and merely contained the genes in any inherited genomic data that the hybrid label would be appropriate.


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