Explain why both the hybrid parent and fertile polyploid offspring may be considered a new species.

Botanists estimate that half or more of angiosperm species may be polyploids that arose initially through hybridization. Polyploidy—having more than a diploid set of the parental chromosomes—can result from nondisjunction of homologous chromosomes during meiosis, or when cytokinesis fails to occur in a dividing cell. Hybridization is the successful mating of individuals from two different species. Such an interspecific hybrid is likely to be sterile because it has uneven numbers of parental chromosomes, or because the chromosomes are too different to pair during meiosis. A sterile hybrid may reproduce asexually, however, and if by chance its offspring should become polyploid, that plant will be fertile because the original set of chromosomes will have homologs that can pair normally during meiosis. Explain why both the hybrid parent and fertile polyploid offspring may be considered a new species.

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