420 Magazine Background

Quick Course In Cannabis Cross-Breeding & Genetics

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
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...

Can you post a brand of this tool? This is something that’d be useful for me actually.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Can you post a brand of this tool? This is something that’d be useful for me actually.
Not sure which device Brother @SLHLover was referring to, but I saw the announcement on this not too long ago and thought it was pretty cool until I saw the $4k pice tag! :rolleyes::

 

SLHLover

Well-Known Member
nah this is somthing which is an entirely differnt thing - it tests the plant live (even in veg). it's probably gonna be in the region of 100k plus. Am not at liberty to give the name of the company as it is still in experimental stage and they do not want to go to public yet. If successful, you will hear about it. It is aimed at growers breeding for the pharma market.
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
pretty cool until I saw the $4k pice tag!
GEMMACERT Cannabis THC/CBD tester

I found it on sale for $3,499! lol Once they repay their initial $3 million investment round and once competitors start responding I trust it will drop in price quite a bit.

I'm anxious to see some reviews! They self report accuracy like this... if a sample is 10% THC, 95% of the time it will report +-2%, or from 8% to 12%.

It uses Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy, then compares the results of each scan to a database in real time, then delivers the results to a smartphone app.

LOVE how this industry is SHAKING out! :)
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Well 100k is too high of a price tag for me, but I saw Gemma kit and this seems affordable way of getting a ballpark number. I just might get one of these.
 

Stvzie

Member
Hi fellow growers, have found this breeder post to be very helpful and informative. Have been dabbling with growing now for about 2 years and getting to the point where I want to try some breeding. Am thinking/planning about breeding some high THC Sativa strains with some high CBD Indigo strains to create a new hybrid strain. Was reviewing some of the Mendelian genetics theories and the resulting phenotypes from the cross breeding gets to be mind boggling.
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
Mendelian genetics theories
Yeah I agree! lol At some point you just gotta KISS, prioritize what short list of traits you want to target and follow, from what I can tell, are pretty basic concepts and procedures, and get on with it! hehe

Start small, get comfy, then RAMP it up to fill whatever space and time you have devoted to the task. I love that more affordable testing is just within reach. This is how change happens... you reach a critical mass and BAM, SHAZOO, KAPOW! <sorry, my inner batman showing, err I mean some GG4 THC in my system> :)
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Yeah I agree! lol At some point you just gotta KISS, prioritize what short list of traits you want to target and follow, from what I can tell, are pretty basic concepts and procedures, and get on with it! hehe

Start small, get comfy, then RAMP it up to fill whatever space and time you have devoted to the task. I love that more affordable testing is just within reach. This is how change happens... you reach a critical mass and BAM, SHAZOO, KAPOW! <sorry, my inner batman showing, err I mean some GG4 THC in my system> :)
Plus, some of the best discoveries are made by mistake! ;)
I'd be willing to trade all the knowledge in genetics for some luck when it comes to breeding! :19:
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
I had a continuous family of guppies for 9 years. Imagine a new generation from each of 5 females every couple months. I kept all the babies in a separate small tank until they matured into color, then I would cull all but the colors I wanted to keep. I had some beauties after 9 years! Too bad I didn't have a good camera to show them off :(

This subject also reminds me of venus flytrap breeding. It's a relatively recent thing, there are now MANY different strains based on the shapes and colors of the traps. There are black traps, traps that look twisted, traps that have saw blade edges, traps that are super large, etc.

I would LOVE to do some cannabis breeding.

What traits are there to focus on?
  • plant height/width
  • THC/CBD yield by plant
  • trichome spread - how far away from the flower do trichomes develop
  • trichome size and density
  • distance between main stem branches - compactness
  • bud density
  • growth rates
  • fan leaf production by size and number
  • response to changes in water/nutes/light
I imagine to do it properly, you would need measurements for every plant for every variable, or you may chase one trait at the expense of another. Once you grow, gather and study the data, there will probably be groups of traits that "travel" together in their responses.

I bet there are rich but tightly held stories that cannabis breeders can tell!

edit - Oh this doesn't even touch terpene content, get another chart! :)
 
Last edited:

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
What traits are there to focus on?
  • plant height/width
  • THC/CBD yield by plant
  • trichome spread - how far away from the flower do trichomes develop
  • trichome size and density
  • distance between main stem branches - compactness
  • bud density
  • growth rates
  • fan leaf production by size and number
  • response to changes in water/nutes/light
I imagine to do it properly, you would need measurements for every plant for every variable, or you may chase one trait at the expense of another. Once you grow, gather and study the data, there will probably be groups of traits that "travel" together in their responses.
Generally, there are four main things we're looking for as home breeders:

1) Effects - (potency/high as well as flavor/smell)
2) Over all vigor and structure (growth pattern/rates & resistances to pests & disease, etc.)
3) Yield of dried harvest
4) Length of budding cycle

There are many more factors that can be considered, if desired. Some breeders try for purple buds, etc. but IMHO, if we stick to the four criteria above, we can do pretty good as home breeders!
 

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
Generally, there are four main things we're looking for as home breeders:

1) Effects - (potency/high as well as flavor/smell)
2) Over all vigor and structure (growth pattern/rates & resistances to pests & disease, etc.)
3) Yield of dried harvest
4) Length of budding cycle

There are many more factors that can be considered, if desired. Some breeders try for purple buds, etc. but IMHO, if we stick to the four criteria above, we can do pretty good as home breeders!
I really appreciate your thoughtful responses Mr. Krip. I agree with your top 4 characteristics and incorporate them in my considerations.
I would consider myself super passionate about breeding. After reading your input and assessing my limited space and time, I realize how much I rely on Luck to move me forward. Lol. (So far I’ve been exceedingly lucky)

At this point, I really am trying to incorporate your awesome input to keep from taking my breeds in the wrong direction....(Avoiding degradation of the quality)

Currently, I’m happy with maintaining current traits, such as aroma and potency, and save actual improvements until I’m a bit more educated in breeding. This tread is a big help.
Thanks again.
Big fan.
 

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
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...
Great Question
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...
Great Question Weaselcracker. I typically let overall vigor and aroma lead my choice. However, if I had a few males to choose from and they were all exhibiting positive traits, I would dry a leaf from each of them and smoke test the plant.... don’t laugh.... smoke the samples a day apart and before you’ve smoked any bud. Of course you’re not going to catch a great buzz off the male leaves, but in the event of a tie-breaker between males, one will likely offer a unique taste along with a noticeable effect when compared to the others. You’d obviously choose the tasty, buzz producing male as your pollen pappy. I incorporate this technique and so far, I’ve successfully perpetuated potent lineages.
 

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 for the great answers. I feel pretty stupid on this subject.
I guess had it in my head that weed is like people or animals where the traits from the gene pool are shared more or less equally. If a male is greatly affecting things like potency and terpenes, and passing on half of the traits that go into the quality of the bud- then choosing a male seems like mostly just a crap-shoot for the average small grower. Without growing out and testing a lot of males how can you really know what they’re like?

Does the male pass on a lot of traits that could affect the quality of the flowers? Or does it mainly pass on other select ‘male’ attributes like strength and height, etc?

All else being equal, is an Afghan male crossed with a Thai female about the same as a Thai male crossed with an Afghan female? Or is it a completely different thing?
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Does the male pass on a lot of traits that could affect the quality of the flowers? Or does it mainly pass on other select ‘male’ attributes like strength and height, etc?

All else being equal, is an Afghan male crossed with a Thai female about the same as a Thai male crossed with an Afghan female? Or is it a completely different thing?
OK, you've got two different questions here.

First is that there's an equal chance any specific trait would be common to the male or female parent, and a possibility it will be a recessive trait that's not showing up in either the mom or dad.

As for the second question, it's the "All Else Being Equal" that's important to really understand.

If the Afghan Female and Afghan male were genetic (identical) twins, and so were the male & female Thai; then the odds would be the same that each seedling would exhibit any specific trait.

If the Afghans or Thais were not genetic twins but, within each strain you had similar phenos with similar traits, you'd be pretty close, but more possibilities in the "genetic soup" for something else to show up.

If you had different phenos within each strain, the soup gets even more complicated!

That all being said, it's really the first question that's important which is that ANY specific trait can be inherited from either the male or female parent (or from somewhere in one of their lineages).
 

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 Krip. Yeah I know all about genetic soup. It was mainly that question about what share of the genetics they pass down that was leading me astray. So we are back to it being basically a crapshoot. No problem that’s business as usual ha ha.
 

Mr. Krip

Grow Journalist
420 Staff
Thanks Mr Krip. Yeah I know all about genetic soup. It was mainly that question about what share of the genetics they pass down that was leading me astray. So we are back to it being basically a crapshoot. No problem that’s business as usual ha ha.
Like I said, I'd gladly give up all the knowledge for a little luck when it comes to breeding! :19:
The knowledge just helps improve the odds at the craps table, it doesn't guarantee you leave a winner! ;)
 

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
Like I said, I'd gladly give up all the knowledge for a little luck when it comes to breeding! :19:
The knowledge just helps improve the odds at the craps table, it doesn't guarantee you leave a winner! ;)
I like to believe that the quality of the soup depends on quality ingredients. I think I’m ok with genetic soup as long as the soup is excellent. As long as I’m not degrading the overall quality with poor selections of questionable traits and/or characteristics, I’m ok with seeing what pops up next with my Frankensteinish pollen chucking experiments. I try to be thoughtful when choosing plants for breeding. It seems like an amateur like myself could easy degrade a fine breed rather than improve it....

Ummmm ok, I just proofread what I just typed and it seems I also excel at degrading a fine conversation on breeding as well. Let me put this pipe down and just keep reading. Carry on chaps.
 

SLHLover

Well-Known Member
Great Question

Great Question Weaselcracker. I typically let overall vigor and aroma lead my choice. However, if I had a few males to choose from and they were all exhibiting positive traits, I would dry a leaf from each of them and smoke test the plant.... don’t laugh.... smoke the samples a day apart and before you’ve smoked any bud. Of course you’re not going to catch a great buzz off the male leaves, but in the event of a tie-breaker between males, one will likely offer a unique taste along with a noticeable effect when compared to the others. You’d obviously choose the tasty, buzz producing male as your pollen pappy. I incorporate this technique and so far, I’ve successfully perpetuated potent lineages.
In every breeding program I have been involved with, males are never chosen for potentcy. THC and CBD traits are determined by the female and males are chosen for their growth vigour and structure.
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Potency can be passed by both males and females, so if typically you want your F1 to be potent af then you select for cbg/thc production in both parents. It’s really the easiest trait to select for, which is why we get these 30% strains these days.
 

Dude Stoneder

Active Member
Potency can be passed by both males and females, so if typically you want your F1 to be potent af then you select for cbg/thc production in both parents. It’s really the easiest trait to select for, which is why we get these 30% strains these days.
Conradino! One of my favorite posters. Thanks for the additional clarity. I agree that males can contribute to potency. I’ve experienced it first hand. I’m sure SLHlover didn’t mean to imply that males are incapable of contributing to overall potency levels.
 
Top Bottom