Hey groovy guys and girls, LoL, today’s “letters” to Rev is all about indoor cannabis breeding. I will answer a few cool questions below, and hopefully some of this info will spark a lightbulb above your head baybee. Cheers.
Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…
Indoor Cannabis Breeding Question #1: Marker Genes?
FROM: Bubba K., Hemet, CA
“Hiya Rev. When you talk about the marker genes you use to guide your hand breeding, I get a bit lost. Like which markers go with which traits? And stuff like that. Thank you, I’m trying to learn WTF I am doing breeding. Been at it for a few years and nothing really turns out how I plan, or think it will, in the beginning.”
Answer to Q-1
Yo Bubba. Good chit comes from your neck of the woods, but you knew that already, heh heh. So, yeah, what I’m talking about are actually ‘Marker Expressions’ that I use. There is no physical chromosome manipulation (happening around my pad anyways) using placed genetic markers, LoL.
This area is full of what I consider proprietary knowledge, hard earned over decades. With that being said, I will tell you this: When you find a real keeper plant (among siblings), observe all the other expressions from that plant very closely, and how those expressions vary from the others. On that basic premise you will begin to notice correlations between certain expressions and certain other traits/expressions. Special looks (expressions) always ride along with other special expressions.
Marker expressions don’t really have set values, although there are some exceptions. As you notice things, as an example, say you see how in some plants the petioles are square rather than tubular. These plants also have purple calyxes, exclusively; and petiole expressions are something I use fairly often, by the by.
You can see the yellow splatter pattern on the plant above and right. When this expression shows up in a plant/strain/variety that is genetically purple, it usually (like 70%) means that purple plant also has extreme resin production potential. But may also be highly vulnerable to parasitic attacks. Hope this helps amigo. Read between the lines here… 😉 is what I would do.
Indoor Cannabis Breeding Question #2: Is Fading Genetic?
FROM: Stanly M., CA
“Rev! I have read a lot of your helpful advice about fading your flowering plants before harvest. For sure I put it all to good use, but just recently (now) I have some 8.5-week flowering plants already fading at not quite 4 weeks into flowering. That’s too soon, right? What I mean is, do different genetics fade at different rates? Thank you sensi.”
Answer to Q-2
The short answer is yes, they do fade differently. Not only due to the genome (genetics) of say a strain/variety, but individual to individual even. Different varieties/strains have different strengths and weaknesses. Even individuals can vary pretty widely as far as their style of fade as well as their flowering time overall. In highly uniform breeding strains this variability will be much less than in say, F2 generation plants.
Poly-hybrids often have wide variation in things like how much of which nutrients they can store. Plants sometimes are very different regarding how efficiently they can use the nutrients at hand; or the speed with which they can move mobile nutrients around to where they are needed most.
If you are an all-natural grower using living soil then I would say don’t worry about a thing. Definitely don’t try and goose them with any available nitrogen. They’ll be fine as long as they are otherwise content in their environment. Mistakes at this point are both common and sometimes deadly to your plants.
If you use liquid organic nutrients to feed your plants, you have to gauge how fast and how much to reduce your dosages as they approach harvest. But you will encounter plants that can store a lot of nutrients to use later, and ones that are not so adept at doing that. Cheers.
Indoor Cannabis Breeding Question #3: What Do F3 Generation Seeds Mean to Me?
FROM: Marci, Bandon, OR
“Kisses Revski ❤ I can’t wait for your new druid TLO book to drop! My friends and I noticed that the Fat Tuesday is back at Kingdom Organic Seeds in the F3 generation. Whoopee! Can you just clear me (us) up on what that means to us as growers and tinkering breeders? We just LOVED the Fat Tuesday we got from KOS about 2 years ago, and we want to get more but will it be different in any major ways? Thank you Rev and love from all of us here in Bandon.”
Answer to Q-3
High Marci, you rock and thanks for all the love! The F3 generation can mean different things depending upon what you started with in the F1 (original hybrid) generation. Your most basic guidelines are as follows:
- F1: Usually very uniform and most plants will be very similar.
- F2: Normally not very uniform and an excellent generation to select from for breeding/inbreeding with. Phenotypes will show different strengths and weaknesses.
- F3: Usually a fairly uniform generation with 2 or maybe 3 truly variable phenotypes not really too distant from each other; mostly morphological variants.
- F4: Normally mostly uniform and actually earns IBL (inbred line) status at F4 and beyond.
A lot of the above is dependent upon how many breeder plants (males and females) are used at each stage of inbreeding, and of course… why/how those plants are chosen.
I can tell you the Fat Tuesday in the F3 generation will be down to 2 basic phenotypes. Calyx to leaf ratios will be different between the 2 phenotypes, yields and potency will be similar. High types will be more intense, or more “stupid” between the two phenotypes, I would say. Plus, I used 2 different F2 Fat Tuesday females and a single (whorled) killer male to make the F3 generation. Pretty sure you will be very pleased with my work.
That’s it for today earthlings. Hope you enjoyed the indoor cannabis breeding Q&A. See you all back here at SKUNK next Tuesday for another article by yours truly. In the meantime, here’s another article you may like, by moi: Pest Free Indoor Gardens – Skunk Magazine!
- REv 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.