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Introgression, in genetics (particularly plant genetics), is the movement of a gene (gene flow) from one species into the gene pool of another by backcrossing an interspecific hybrid with one of its parents. Introgression is a long-term process; it may take many hybrid generations before the backcrossing occurs. An example of introgression is that of a transgene from a transgenic plant to a wild relative as the result of a successful hybridization leading to intentional or unintentional "genetic pollution". Another important example has been studied by Arnold & Bennett 1993: irises species from southern Louisianamarker.

There is evidence that the introgression is an ubiquitous phenomenon in plants, even in animals and perhaps it also exists among pre-humanlineages (Holliday 2003).

An introgression line (abbreviation: IL) in plant molecular biology is a line of a crop species that contains genetic material derived from a similar species, for example a "wild" relative. An example of a collection of ILs (called IL-Library) is the use of chromosome fragments from Solanum pennellii (a wild variety of tomato) introgressed in Solanum lycopersicum (the cultivated tomato). The lines of an IL-Library covers usually the complete genome of the donor. Introgression lines allow the study of quantitative trait loci, but also the creation of new varieties by introducing exotic trait.

See also


  • Anderson, E. 1949. Introgressive Hybridization. Wiley, New York.
  • Eyal Friedman et al., "Zooming In on a Quantitative Trait for Tomato Yield Using Interspecific Introgressions", Science vol.305 pag.1786-1798 (2004)
  • Rieseberg, L. H. & Wendel, J. F. (1993). "Introgression and its consequences in plants". In: Harrison, R. G. (ed.) Hybrid Zones and Evolutionary Process, pp. 70-109. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 978-0195069174

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