[HORRIFIED SCREAMS OF ITALY ROMANO IN THE DISTANCE]
Not a hybrid, it’s grafted and grafting has been around for ages. Often to make use of a good established root stock. This one is a bit risky because both ends of the plant are trying to produce seeds and storage rather than focus on trying to gather nutrients (more roots/leaves). And the article mentions both these things 😉
If you ever look at plants in a nursery and there is a weird knobbly shape part way up the stem? That’s a graft!