The general phenomenon of hybrid vigor was known by animal breeders long before the birth of genetics as a science at the turn of this century. Shull coined the term heterosis in 1914 in the more limited context of "increased vigor - - - manifested by crossbred organisms as compared with corresponding inbreds" or "between pure strains and their hybrids" (Shull, 1952). Today the two terms are used more or less synonymously in quantitative genetics and are usually defined as the crossbred superiority over the average of the parental lines.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 6. Round tables, , 206–227, 1982
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