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Quick Course In Cannabis Cross-Breeding & Genetics

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
Great thread Mr. Krip. Very enlightening. I am currently breeding Nevils original F1 hybrid of his Northern Lights#5x Skunk #1 to preserve the genetics as well as I can. I’m currently on F-3. Would it be beneficial to backcross the F-4 batch back to my F-2 stock? Or am I just best off to breed F-4 with F-4?

BTW.... ive had these seeds since 1989!
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Great thread Mr. Krip. Very enlightening. I am currently breeding Nevils original F1 hybrid of his Northern Lights#5x Skunk #1 to preserve the genetics as well as I can. I’m currently on F-3. Would it be beneficial to backcross the F-4 batch back to my F-2 stock? Or am I just best off to breed F-4 with F-4?

BTW.... ive had these seeds since 1989!
Well, no way to really tell, so I'd do both!

Here are some things I'd consider:

First, there's is a difference between preserving a strain and "working" a strain.

Preserving the strain implies that you basically want "copies" of the plant as-is while working the strain implies you want to try to improve on certain traits/characteristics and are willing to lose, or at least risk losing, some of the current traits to get there.

If you want to preserve the strain, I'd probably consider making S-1's (selfed seeds) by cloning my best female, reversing one of the clones, and crossing it with itself. The seeds will be all feminized and be pretty darn close to a clone of the mom in seed form with ALL genetics coming from the mom.

If you wanted to produce regular (non-feminized) seeds, I'd cross my best male with best female (with traits most representative of that strain) and run a couple/few generations to hopefully find another female representative of the strain, then back-cross it with the original male, run another generation or two to find another good representative female, then back-cross it again with the original male. That should lock-in the original traits pretty well, assuming you were good at doing your selective breeding along the way.

If you wanted to "work" the strain, I'd definitely do both. As a general rule, the more generations you breed out, the more drift you get from the original pheno since traits in the "gene soup" that were once recessive start becoming dominant, so you never really can tell what you'll get. When you back-cross, you start locking-in traits from either the parent lineage, or a trait that's showing up in the new generation as opposed to risking some new trait you haven't even seen before coming out.

I hope that helps! :goodluck:
 

Blazinjones

Well-Known Member
Great thread Mr. Krip. Very enlightening. I am currently breeding Nevils original F1 hybrid of his Northern Lights#5x Skunk #1 to preserve the genetics as well as I can. I’m currently on F-3. Would it be beneficial to backcross the F-4 batch back to my F-2 stock? Or am I just best off to breed F-4 with F-4?

BTW.... ive had these seeds since 1989!
Lmao nice profile pic dude or is it duder, dudeness or el dudearino if ur into the whole brevity thing Haha. Tht movie was hilarious lol.

Oh an thanx krip once again for clearing so.e breeding issues up for me as well cause the question dude asked had me wondering as well so thanx for clearn sum stuff up 4me.
 

Aroxol

Well-Known Member
Question for the smarter folks than me. If you have multiple female phenos of the same strain in a single pot and you’re not a serious breeder (nor want to be), what happens if you hit them with CS and hopefully generate a mix of pollen? Will that pollen carry “close” genetic traits or intermix and result in who knows what?
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Question for the smarter folks than me. If you have multiple female phenos of the same strain in a single pot and you’re not a serious breeder (nor want to be), what happens if you hit them with CS and hopefully generate a mix of pollen? Will that pollen carry “close” genetic traits or intermix and result in who knows what?
It will intermix and result in "who knows what", but that doesn't mean you won't get some good pheno's out of the deal!

Generally speaking, when breeding you want to isolate the male pollen so you know what you're crossing with what. There are exceptions to this.

If you hit everything with CS, everything should hermie, you'll have pollen flying everywhere, get tons of seeds, and never know if the seed was a self-pollination or came from one of the other reversed plants and, if so, which.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, you just will have a tough time knowing what you'll get. However, if you do that same process of "open pollination" for multiple generations, eventually all the offspring should be pretty much identical since they'll all be sharing the same gene pool, though, you may not be as happy with the end result.
 

Aroxol

Well-Known Member
It will intermix and result in "who knows what", but that doesn't mean you won't get some good pheno's out of the deal!

Generally speaking, when breeding you want to isolate the male pollen so you know what you're crossing with what. There are exceptions to this.

If you hit everything with CS, everything should hermie, you'll have pollen flying everywhere, get tons of seeds, and never know if the seed was a self-pollination or came from one of the other reversed plants and, if so, which.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, you just will have a tough time knowing what you'll get. However, if you do that same process of "open pollination" for multiple generations, eventually all the offspring should be pretty much identical since they'll all be sharing the same gene pool, though, you may not be as happy with the end result.
Thanks for the reply. I came across those pollination bags I posted on Neikodog’s thread and because I get bored/ like to try new things, I was considering playing around with one. Thought was to create a hodgepodge pollen party with 3 phenos of Eagle Bill and 1-2 phenos of Jack Herer all in the same pot/ bag. I haven’t ever intentionally turned a female male or made seeds, and really don’t know too much about it beyond the basic process... so if it’s an exercise in futility or a stupid effort to do what I’m thinking, please lmk. I’m not married to the idea if it’s a bad one :)

But seems fun to have some Frankenstein seeds that could have a super shiny needle buried somewhere in the haystack.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Thanks for the reply. I came across those pollination bags I posted on Neikodog’s thread and because I get bored/ like to try new things, I was considering playing around with one. Thought was to create a hodgepodge pollen party with 3 phenos of Eagle Bill and 1-2 phenos of Jack Herer all in the same pot/ bag. I haven’t ever intentionally turned a female male or made seeds, and really don’t know too much about it beyond the basic process... so if it’s an exercise in futility or a stupid effort to do what I’m thinking, please lmk. I’m not married to the idea if it’s a bad one :)

But seems fun to have some Frankenstein seeds that could have a super shiny needle buried somewhere in the haystack.
Have fun! :high-five::party:
 

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
Well, no way to really tell, so I'd do both!

Here are some things I'd consider:

First, there's is a difference between preserving a strain and "working" a strain.

Preserving the strain implies that you basically want "copies" of the plant as-is while working the strain implies you want to try to improve on certain traits/characteristics and are willing to lose, or at least risk losing, some of the current traits to get there.

If you want to preserve the strain, I'd probably consider making S-1's (selfed seeds) by cloning my best female, reversing one of the clones, and crossing it with itself. The seeds will be all feminized and be pretty darn close to a clone of the mom in seed form with ALL genetics coming from the mom.

If you wanted to produce regular (non-feminized) seeds, I'd cross my best male with best female (with traits most representative of that strain) and run a couple/few generations to hopefully find another female representative of the strain, then back-cross it with the original male, run another generation or two to find another good representative female, then back-cross it again with the original male. That should lock-in the original traits pretty well, assuming you were good at doing your selective breeding along the way.

If you wanted to "work" the strain, I'd definitely do both. As a general rule, the more generations you breed out, the more drift you get from the original pheno since traits in the "gene soup" that were once recessive start becoming dominant, so you never really can tell what you'll get. When you back-cross, you start locking-in traits from either the parent lineage, or a trait that's showing up in the new generation as opposed to risking some new trait you haven't even seen before coming out.

I hope that helps! :goodluck:
Thanks for the awesome reply! This information does help me connect the dots. I’ll get to work on the selfing my best female. That makes a lot of sense to me now.
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
When you back-cross, you start locking-in traits from either the parent lineage, or a trait that's showing up in the new generation as opposed to risking some new trait you haven't even seen before coming out.
Sorry for my ignorance on this tech, but does the amount a plant is "locked-in" have anything to do with how stable it's clone is?
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Sorry for my ignorance on this tech, but does the amount a plant is "locked-in" have anything to do with how stable it's clone is?
Not really. Clones should have the same genetics as the donor plant.

Locking-in the genetics means you can pop 100 seeds and the resulting plants will have essentially the same traits (or, most of them will with little "genetic drift").
 

SLHLover

Well-Known Member
Mr Kip- what an informative post! Thank you :)

One point about reversing females to make pollen: I do this often with STS (colloidal silver too burdensome) and this is good for seed producing, however if one wants to create a new stable strain, it is worth using regular seeds to get a true male. I have been involved with breeding programs that have used both true males and reversed males and we have found that using proper males results in much more stable predictable crosses.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Anyone have thoughts on choosing a good male? I’ve always read things about choosing the one that smells the most, or has the stockiest stems, but in my grow male selection usually goes like this- ‘eeny meeny miney moe...
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Mr Kip- what an informative post! Thank you :)

One point about reversing females to make pollen: I do this often with STS (colloidal silver too burdensome) and this is good for seed producing, however if one wants to create a new stable strain, it is worth using regular seeds to get a true male. I have been involved with breeding programs that have used both true males and reversed males and we have found that using proper males results in much more stable predictable crosses.
Agreed! In breeding, you usually want to avoid hermies like the plague; and that includes using reversed females, although, as you point out, it's fine to reverse females to get some seeds.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Anyone have thoughts on choosing a good male? I’ve always read things about choosing the one that smells the most, or has the stockiest stems, but in my grow male selection usually goes like this- ‘eeny meeny miney moe...
With males, you want to look for those stocky stems that can support heavy buds and rubbing the stems give you an idea of terps. You also want to avoid males that drop pollen early but go for a male that drops lots of pollen. You also want a male that is resistant to mold & disease and, probably most importantly, select a male with traits that compliment the female you're breeding with. :Namaste:
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Thanks Mr K. I often wonder how much goes into selecting and working with males. Not
much info out there. I’m guessing expertise in that field is pretty rare.
 

SLHLover

Well-Known Member
it's fine to reverse females to get some seeds.
to be able to harvest a few thousand seeds is a real advantage when u found a strain u love and want to avoid buying more seeds (or getting them to somewhere where they r not legally available for e.g)

Anyone have thoughts on choosing a good male? I’ve always read things about choosing the one that smells the most, or has the stockiest stems, but in my grow male selection usually goes like this- ‘eeny meeny miney moe...
As per Mr Kip - a good growing structure. Most of the traits we are looking for in terms of thc/cbd a & b are going to come from the mother anyways but a stocky male plus hollowish stems are a good indicator of a decent breeder. In addition to what Mr Kip mentioned about early pollen producers, I always use the pollen produced towards the end of pollen production as I have seen that desired growth traits from the father are more readily passed on this way.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Thanks Mr K. I often wonder how much goes into selecting and working with males. Not
much info out there. I’m guessing expertise in that field is pretty rare.
The "real" breeders will plant dozens of males to select from. Us home breeders typically don't have the luxury of all that space to waste on males that will end up being culled, so we may only have a couple/few to choose from.
 

SLHLover

Well-Known Member
i am due to start working as a breeder in a medical canna farm in a few weeks...really looking forward to the range of experiments i'll be able to do.
We are also due to trial an optical device that takes thc/cbd readings from the plants - whilst it's still in veg! could save years in developing new strains :)
Conversely, there is a company a few Kms away that are working on cloning of cbd-rich cells to produce medicine...could be bad news for agricultural growing...
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
to be able to harvest a few thousand seeds is a real advantage when u found a strain u love and want to avoid buying more seeds (or getting them to somewhere where they r not legally available for e.g)
Especially when they're feminized seeds, which, IMHO, is the real reason to reverse a female for pollen. But, to create a new, stabilized strain, I'd select a male.
 
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