In an unexpected turn of events, American paddlefish and Russian sturgeon were bred together resulting in the birth of a new species of sturddlefish.
According to a report published in CNET, the two fish were bred together by accident. Both these fish are called “fossil fish”. The name has been given because of their ancient lineage and slow evolution.
Currently, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, both American paddlefish and Russian sturgeon are endangered species.
This activity was carried out through a method called gynogenesis. This is an asexual reproduction method which requires presence of sperm without the contribution of their DNA for completion. The researchers too had no clue that they by mistake had used paddlefish sperm to fertilize the sturgeon eggs. What is more surprising is the fact that it actually worked. Eventually, hybridized fish hatched from the eggs.
The research, carried out by scientist Attila Mozsár from the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Hungaryand others, has been published in the scientific journal Genes. The study also marks the first time when Russian sturgeon and American paddlefish were hybrid. The resulting sturddlefish is somewhere between members of the Acipenseridae and Polyodontidae families.
What must be noted here is that man-made hybrids are sterile in nature and the sturddlefish is no different.
Scientist Attila Mozsár told the New York Times, “We never wanted to play around with hybridization. It was absolutely unintentional.”