BUDAPEST: A team of researchers in Hungary has accidentally bred a new kind of fish – dubbed the sturddlefish – from two endangered fish species.
The fish is a cross between an American Paddlefish and a Russian Sturgeon. In their paper published in the journal Genes, the scientists working at Hungary’s National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre, Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture, described accidentally breeding the fish.
The researchers claim that they were not trying to create a new type of fish but were instead attempting to apply gynogenesis (a type of reproduction in which sperm is used from one creature to fertilize an egg, but its DNA is ignored) using American paddlefish and Russian sturgeon. To their surprise, the eggs produced fish that grew to adults.
The researchers said, “This was the first successful hybridization between these two species and between members of the family Acipenseridae and Polyodontida.” One of the researcher Dr Attila Mozsar said, “We never wanted to play around with hybridization. It was absolutely unintentional.”
Both parent fish are endangered, and they would not have had any chance of reproducing in the wild. They are both considered to be “living fossils” by scientists because they have not changed very much over a very long period of time.
They researchers also noted that the two fish species have more in common – they both have spiral valve intestines, scaleless skin and cartilaginous endoskeletons. The researchers also believe the offspring, like most crossbred offspring, are infertile.