Dictionary > Mule

Mule

Definition
noun, plural: mules
(zoology) A sterile hybrid offspring, especially of a male donkey and a female horse
(botany) Any sterile hybrid plant
Supplement
In biology, a mule generally pertains to a hybrid offspring that is sterile. For instance, a cross between a male donkey (jack) and a female horse (mare) results in a progeny (male or female) that is sterile. Although donkeys and horses belong to the same genus, Equus, they are two different species. Horses are taxonomically designated as Equus ferus caballus whereas donkeys are designated as E. africanus. The two species have different number of chromosomes. A donkey has 62 chromosomes whereas a horse has 64 chromosomes. Mules are much used as draught animals. They are more hardy and long-lived than horses, and described to be more intelligent than donkeys. A reciprocal cross, i.e. a cross between a male horse (stallion) and a female donkey (jenny), results in a similarly sterile offspring, called a hinny.
Other examples of animal mules are the offspring from a cross between the canary and some other finch, and that between a meat ram and a hardy mountain ewe. In plants, a mule also pertains to a hybrid plant, especially one that is sterile. A plant or vegetable produced by impregnating the pistil of one species with the pollen or fecundating dust of another.
See also:


You will also like...

Biological Viruses
Biological Viruses

Viruses possess both living and non-living characteristics. This unique feature distinguishes them from other organisms...

Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..

..

Plant meristem
Plant Meristems and Growth

In plants, growth occurs in meristems, which are the site of repeated cell division of unspecialized cells. These cells ..

Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication
Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication

Homeostasis is the relatively stable conditions of the internal environment that result from compensatory regulatory res..

A chart depicting Mendel's Law of Dominance
Mendel’s Law & Mendelian Genetics

One of Mendel’s law of inheritance is the “law of dominance”. Read this tutorial to know more about this form of i..

Balanced Diet
A Balanced Diet – Minerals and Proteins

Proteins and minerals can be derived from various dietary sources. They are essential for the proper growth and developm..