Hybrid Vegetables

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 18, 2012 at 1:30 AM

I came across a 'Broccoflower' in the supermarket, that was basically a green coloured cauliflower. Is this a genetically modified 'hybrid vegetable' or is it a naturally occurring plant? Wikipedia suggests that it is made by 'natural pollination', but also says it is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoflower.




on September 18, 2012
at 01:48 AM

Sheer laziness, CD. I hit the comment box first. =)



on September 18, 2012
at 01:41 AM

Hey mathgirl, let me introduce you to my friend the answer box. Seriously, half your comments are better answers than anyone else provides.



on September 18, 2012
at 01:40 AM

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/food/2009/10/26/what-the-heck-is-a-broccoflower/ Cross pollination can occur naturally because they are so closely related. No test tubes required.

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on September 18, 2012
at 01:40 AM

Genetic modification and hybridization are not the same thing. Hybridization occurs when two plants are purposefully (or accidentally) crossed when pollination occurs, not unlike animal cross-breeds. (Think labradoodle in dogs.) This is why you see hybrid tomatoes (most of the red varieties) and heirlooms (purple Cherokee, Brandywine, etc.), or things like your broccoli/cauliflower hybrid.

Genetic modifications are performed in laboratories and involve switching specific genes within the plant on or off, or inserting/removing specific components of the plant. In this case, think Round-Up-Ready crops (or the like).

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on September 18, 2012
at 01:43 AM

It's not a GMO it's a hybrid. GMO's require genetic manipulation in the lab and they usually add something to the plant that is completely unnatural like bacteria or animal genes. Our modern broccoli and cauliflower are not naturally occurring, they are hybrids. They have been crossed and recrossed for generations to get those big fat heads but they can be naturally crossed because they are in the same family. All the cruciferous type plants put up seed heads that look like Broccoli Rabe or the smallest stalks of broccolini. That's what broccoli and cauliflower were in the wild. Kale, mustard and collards have the same type of seed head.



on September 18, 2012
at 02:14 AM

Cool, thanks guys. I guess my main concern was should these types of plans be avoided, but if they are naturally occurring (or could be), then there should be no harm in consuming them.

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