In agriculture and gardening, hybrid seed is seed produced by cross-pollinated plants. Hybrid seed production is predominant in agriculture and home gardening. It is one of the main contributors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output. The alternatives to hybridization are open pollination and clonal propagation.
Controlled hybrids provide very uniform characteristics because they are produced by crossing two inbred strains. Elite inbred strains are used that express well-documented and consistent phenotypes (such as high yield) that are relatively good for inbred plants.
An important factor is the heterosis or combining ability of the parent plants. Crossing any particular pair of inbred strains may or may not result in superior offspring. The parent strains used are therefore carefully chosen so as to achieve the uniformity that comes from the uniformity of the parents, and the superior performance that comes from heterosis.
- David Tay (?). "Vegetable Hybrid Seed Production". Seeds: Trade, Production and Technology. ?. pp. 128–139.