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Department of Zoology, University of Cdijornia, Berkeley Received October 1, 1954 ITHIN recent years considerableemphasis has been placed on the phenomenon of heterosis. In 1950 a conferencedevoted to a discussion of that topic was held a t Iowa State College, and the proceedings of the conference were published two years later under the title of “Heterosis” (GOWEN 1952). The reader is referred to the first three chapters of this book for an historical account of heterosis. More recently RENDEL (1953) and HAGBERG (1953) have contributed significantly to our understanding of the problems of heterosis. Much of the three aforementioned publications and other papers concerned with heterosis has been devoted to the two principal theories offered as explanations for the underlying mechanism of heterosis: dominance theory and overdominance theory. The latter postulates that “heterozygosis” per se results in increased vigor while the former maintains that the covering up of deleterious recessive genes by beneficial dominants is sufficient to explain the phenomenon. RICHEY (1946) asserts that “the accepted basis for hybrid vigor has changed from the theory of physiological stimulation to that of the interaction of dominant favorable genes.” However, CROW(1948) maintains that, “the likely alternative is that increased vigor http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Genetics Genetics Society of America

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