Breeding, what's really involved?

Skunky Dunk Farms

Cannabinoid Receptor
Ok, I know this can be a can of worms or as they say "down a rabbit hole" but it's a subject that should be available to all of us here on this site especially.
So as just an example, this is a sample of what's required to chase a line.
I recieved this quote from Todd at AG seed co after an inquiry.
It is for the Skunk #1 line.

Skunk #1 is a relatively true breeding variety that is quite unique in the cannabis community.

Robert Clarke describes the breeding that went into Skunk #1 in his research paper titled:

Cannabis Domestication, Breeding History, Present-day Genetic Diversity, and Future Prospects

"A brief summary of the breeding of “Skunk No. 1” will illustrate what is involved in developing a relatively true breeding seed cultivar.

Several plants were grown from a local California “skunk” variety, which was a 2/3 NLD and 1/3 BLD hybrid (e.g., Colombian/Afghan & Mexican) and then all the females were crossed with a single select male. A female identified as skunk plant number one was selected as the highest yielding and most potent, and became the founder of all subsequent generations.

For the following nine growing seasons, at least one branch of each of the (up to 100) female plants was fertilized by pollen from a male selected from the offspring of the previous year’s best female plant. Seeds from the select females were sown the following spring.

After only two or three generations, “Skunk No. 1” was relatively homogenous and true-breeding compared to other hybrid lines that continued to segregate in the F3 and F4 generations, and “Skunk No. 1” was then deemed ready for large-scale selection of parent plants with specific combining ability (SCA) for subsequent breeding.

A total of nearly twenty thousand plants were grown in a common garden from the seeds of ten females from the most promising lines selected from the previous generation, and the ten best females from among all those lines were selected based on vigor, potency, type of effect, flower yield, high flower to leaf ratio, resin gland development, amount of branching and pest resistance, as well as attractive floral aromas and flavors. Ten males were also selected for their vigor, pest resistance, female-type growth form, and aroma.

All 20 selections (male and female) were reproduced asexually to preserve their unique genotypes. Ten clonal copies were made of each of the ten select females. Pollen was collected from each of the ten select male clones, and pollen from a single male was used to fertilize a single copy of each female clone, resulting in 100 individual crosses. Two hundred seeds of each cross were sown (20,000 total) and approximately 100 female progeny of each cross were evaluated for phenotypic consistency (homozygosity) of their favorable agronomic traits (see above). Five female and three male clones were selected and used for “Skunk No. 1” sowing seed multiplication as well as hybrid cultivar development."
 

Umpty Candy

In Bloom
Interesting and valuable post imo. Small scale breeding ie. "I crossed my rare X cut I got from my homie with this interesting STS´d pollen from my favorite strain Y, look at the frost guys! Seeds are available to known buddies to test.." vs "We are big ass commercial entity and decided to do 40K plant pheno mega hunt for lolz (and $)"

Both styles, and any scale in between may produce a rare gem once in a while, but as I have understood it, true breeding takes a lot of time, knowledge, patience and plants regardless.

Main reasons why I am partial towards smaller scale breeders with a loooong history with a few strains and bigger entities with acces to tens of thousands of plants of same stock at a time, but that is just me, your experience may be different.. With leagalization we are witnessing interesting times indeed in phenohunting.

I´d love to have a small plot or greenhouse to experiment and learn.. For now, my future plans involves some pollen chucking with a few plants hoping for the best.. Should probably just do small scale strain preservation runs in my 2x4 with my skill level and let more experienced do the breeding/hunting for me..

Nice article here: Discovering Cannabis Unicorns in a Phenotype Mega-Hunt

“Choosing the best out of 30 is different than choosing the best from 40,000,” said Pennington. He and his team narrowed their candidate field to 10,000 ideal females, from which they selected only the highest quality 0.5 percent of flowering plants. That involved he and his team carefully examining and disqualifying 200 plants for each they labeled a finalist. The group then systematically discarded 90 percent of the 500 to derive 50 top-shelf “winners.”

I didn’t mean to offend anyone nor to advertize a specific seed company.
 
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Brokehoe

In Bloom
Interesting and valuable post imo. Small scale breeding ie. "I crossed my rare X cut I got from my homie with this interesting STS´d pollen from my favorite strain Y, look at the frost guys! Seeds are available to known buddies to test.." vs "We are big ass commercial entity and decided to do 40K plant pheno mega hunt for lolz (and $)"

Both styles, and any scale in between may produce a rare gem once in a while, but as I have understood it, true breeding takes a lot of time, knowledge, patience and plants regardless.

Main reasons why I am partial towards smaller scale breeders with a loooong history with a few strains and bigger entities with acces to tens of thousands of plants of same stock at a time, but that is just me, your experience may be different.. With leagalization we are witnessing interesting times indeed in phenohunting.

I´d love to have a small plot or greenhouse to experiment and learn.. For now, my future plans involves some pollen chucking with a few plants hoping for the best.. Should probably just do small scale strain preservation runs in my 2x4 with my skill level and let more experienced do the breeding/hunting for me..

Nice article here: Discovering Cannabis Unicorns in a Phenotype Mega-Hunt



I didn’t mean to offend anyone nor to advertize a specific seed company.
So what your saying is..
Even a blind squirrel gets a nut. 🐿️
I like squirrels too but not rats 😹

I like supporting the little guys but I can appreciate the work that goes into a large breeding hunt.
 
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Amarok

bad mother chucker
Main reasons why I am partial towards smaller scale breeders with a loooong history with a few strains

That's why I tend to buy from guys like Mike James at Peak over say, Jordan of the Islands.

Both have been around forever, but while PSBC worked and refined a few beloved lines(and is open about his methods and sources), JOTI is pushing out new crosses of crosses all the time and (I'm told) won't answer questions about his breeding(even basic stuff like whether a release is f1 or f2).

I've grown great weed from both sources, but if I'm looking to make stable seeds from tested genetics, I'm choosing Peak.
 

Kanzeon

In Bloom

That's why I tend to buy from guys like Mike James at Peak over say, Jordan of the Islands.

Both have been around forever, but while PSBC worked and refined a few beloved lines(and is open about his methods and sources), JOTI is pushing out new crosses of crosses all the time and (I'm told) won't answer questions about his breeding(even basic stuff like whether a release is f1 or f2).

I've grown great weed from both sources, but if I'm looking to make stable seeds from tested genetics, I'm choosing Peak.

Thanks for the shout out, I hadn't heard of them before. That Blueberry and Sweet Skunk look :mariofireball:
 

Psychobilly

In Bloom
OK so this has me wondering; If I take some seeds of Strain X, and take a male, and then use the male pollen on female strain OG, and then the plant should seed up, and the seeds would be a new strain right? I mean on a MUCH smaller, WAY less professional level? I've been thinking lately I'd like to try and actually cross two strains together at some point, but I don't have the ability to yet.
 

Amarok

bad mother chucker
OK so this has me wondering; If I take some seeds of Strain X, and take a male, and then use the male pollen on female strain OG, and then the plant should seed up, and the seeds would be a new strain right?
Not quite. To my understanding, it would be a new cross.

A strain is created through multiple generations of inbreeding and selection to achieve a degree of uniformity and stability.

To use a clumsy analogy, if an Italian and a Jamaican had a kid, it would be half Jamaican and half Italian.

If the people of Italy and Jamaica had sex with each other for a bunch of generations, eventually, a new race of Pastafarians would emerge. ;)
 

Brokehoe

In Bloom
Not quite. To my understanding, it would be a new cross.

A strain is created through multiple generations of inbreeding and selection to achieve a degree of uniformity and stability.

To use a clumsy analogy, if an Italian and a Jamaican had a kid, it would be half Jamaican and half Italian.

If the people of Italy and Jamaica had sex with each other for a bunch of generations, eventually, a new race of Pastafarians would emerge. ;)
It has happened
 

InfiniteIndo

In Bloom

I found this video a bit eye opening they discuss looking for even rarer traits (on top of the typical) than I was looking for like bud keeping it's flavor in a joint after you put it out and let it sit for a while

There's a ton of stuff to look for. If you're just doing a one off polyhybrid cross then it's basically a lottery.. You're gonna hit or miss. Sometimes the plants you think will go great together put out duds.

I'd say being thorough in your search for plants and not taking shortcuts (excusing bad traits, just doing ground level chucking etc.) Is when you're taking a step in the right direction to truly breeding. Testing and inbreeding/continuing a line for the desirable traits are huge parts of actual breeding imo which takes a lot of time and effort.

It's a lot easier to just make an F1 and hope for the best even if the best is 1/100 so I get why that's the thing to do. And it is what it is seed making is a hustle for many people at this point but I'd love to see it become a craft for more people and see what can really be done when more effort and love is put in.
 

Kanzeon

In Bloom
That's an awesome video, thanks for posting it!

It's interesting to hear them talking about the crossover between culinary work and cannabis, especially with breeding. It should absolutely be a craft.

I'm just some knowledge addict that makes seeds for himself and growmies, but here's my humble take. I did some time in fine dining kitchens (and some sommelier training) and it definitely influences my chuckery. The line between breeding and pollen chucking, especially on a small scale, is essentially a giant grey area.

The process for making seeds (concept, planting, selecting, smoking- and all that entails, revegging the keepers and/or keeping clones of them, then chucking, then repeating with the next generation and/or backcrossing) is very similar to creating a dish (source, order, prep, refine and taste incessantly, prep, on the menu, taste incessantly until it's being plated, monitor the plates coming back and get feedback, refine...) and deductively tasting wine (analyze color, appearance, intensity of aromas, complexity of aromas, identify aromas, then taste and analyze acid level, tannins/phenolic bitterness-looking at you Pinot Grigio 😒, intensity, flavor notes, residual sugar, alcohol level, and the analysis of post-swallow in-mouth as well as retronasal aroma and intensity).

Especially with wine where the presence of certain aromas is indicative of how and where it was made, like how the presence of artificial vanilla indicates the use of oak and how the tasting notes of Chardonnay go from unripe green apple to roasted yellow apple depending on the climate that it was grown in (and apple pie, in the case of oaked Sonoma Chard).

Numbers are the most important part of making plants. Picking from 30 different phenos (as I am now) is a completely different monster than picking from 35,000 phenos (as I'd like to). Not to brag, but I can say with some authority what constitutes a good Champagne because I've tasted a metric fuck ton of Champagne, as happens when opening French restaurants and making a wine list. Even chucking nonstop for over two years and reading countless studies and analysis, I'm not there with weed.

For me personally, it all comes down to standards and execution. I would rather trash a dish and start all over again or take a wine off the list than to have it be below my standard (fucking perfect, no excuses).

Right now my chucking is engineered about the high and its effects more than flavor/aroma, mainly out of personal necessity. I'd rather trash a plant that's not what I want in a high or plant than to let it keep taking up space, no matter the strain, how much the seeds cost, or other people's opinions, or how excited I was to run them (Sky Cuddler Double Kush, Gorilla Breath, Silver Haze #9, The Shoeshiner, 707 Truthband, Durban Thai x C99, so many others).

When I first tried G13 Haze, it was a fucking revelation. All of the anger, anxiety, and depression that comes with PTSD and the sensory overload issues from being on the spectrum were gone. G13 Hashplant was similar, but I could also sleep. No more being awake for 72-120 hours straight! G13 Hazeplant was an obvious next step. The backstory to crossing USC's Uzbekistan and Nepalma was much the same, and 10 of the F1's and 20 of the F2's of their babies are in veg now. I'd love to have the space to be able to hunt 30,000 G13 Hazeplants for the absolute "best" flavors and aromas and the loudest terps and the stackiest structure but I'm working with what I've got.

That's just to make seeds to run them of course, not to sell them. I'm not there yet.
 

Brokehoe

In Bloom
That's an awesome video, thanks for posting it!

It's interesting to hear them talking about the crossover between culinary work and cannabis, especially with breeding. It should absolutely be a craft.

I'm just some knowledge addict that makes seeds for himself and growmies, but here's my humble take. I did some time in fine dining kitchens (and some sommelier training) and it definitely influences my chuckery. The line between breeding and pollen chucking, especially on a small scale, is essentially a giant grey area.

The process for making seeds (concept, planting, selecting, smoking- and all that entails, revegging the keepers and/or keeping clones of them, then chucking, then repeating with the next generation and/or backcrossing) is very similar to creating a dish (source, order, prep, refine and taste incessantly, prep, on the menu, taste incessantly until it's being plated, monitor the plates coming back and get feedback, refine...) and deductively tasting wine (analyze color, appearance, intensity of aromas, complexity of aromas, identify aromas, then taste and analyze acid level, tannins/phenolic bitterness-looking at you Pinot Grigio 😒, intensity, flavor notes, residual sugar, alcohol level, and the analysis of post-swallow in-mouth as well as retronasal aroma and intensity).

Especially with wine where the presence of certain aromas is indicative of how and where it was made, like how the presence of artificial vanilla indicates the use of oak and how the tasting notes of Chardonnay go from unripe green apple to roasted yellow apple depending on the climate that it was grown in (and apple pie, in the case of oaked Sonoma Chard).

Numbers are the most important part of making plants. Picking from 30 different phenos (as I am now) is a completely different monster than picking from 35,000 phenos (as I'd like to). Not to brag, but I can say with some authority what constitutes a good Champagne because I've tasted a metric fuck ton of Champagne, as happens when opening French restaurants and making a wine list. Even chucking nonstop for over two years and reading countless studies and analysis, I'm not there with weed.

For me personally, it all comes down to standards and execution. I would rather trash a dish and start all over again or take a wine off the list than to have it be below my standard (fucking perfect, no excuses).

Right now my chucking is engineered about the high and its effects more than flavor/aroma, mainly out of personal necessity. I'd rather trash a plant that's not what I want in a high or plant than to let it keep taking up space, no matter the strain, how much the seeds cost, or other people's opinions, or how excited I was to run them (Sky Cuddler Double Kush, Gorilla Breath, Silver Haze #9, The Shoeshiner, 707 Truthband, Durban Thai x C99, so many others).

When I first tried G13 Haze, it was a fucking revelation. All of the anger, anxiety, and depression that comes with PTSD and the sensory overload issues from being on the spectrum were gone. G13 Hashplant was similar, but I could also sleep. No more being awake for 72-120 hours straight! G13 Hazeplant was an obvious next step. The backstory to crossing USC's Uzbekistan and Nepalma was much the same, and 10 of the F1's and 20 of the F2's of their babies are in veg now. I'd love to have the space to be able to hunt 30,000 G13 Hazeplants for the absolute "best" flavors and aromas and the loudest terps and the stackiest structure but I'm working with what I've got.

That's just to make seeds to run them of course, not to sell them. I'm not there yet.
I enjoyed reading that and agree with your comparison to wine. I am not very knowledgeable on the subject. I've made some killer wine (blueberry/red grape) in my kitchen maybe I can make some beans too.

Now I want to try out that G13Hazeplant, sounds like good meds.
 
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