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Cannapedia Encyclopedia of cannabis strains

Breeding

Breeding is a deliberate manipulation of plant’s genes with the aim of creating strains with desired genotypes and phenotypes for specific purposes.

This manipulation involves either controlled pollination, or genetic engineering (or both), with a subsequent artificial selection of the progeny. Plant breeding often leads to plant domestication.

 

Millenia of breeding

Plant breeding has been done for thousands of years – after humans stopped being hunters and became farmers instead. Nowadays, it’s performed by government organizations and companies all over the world. International development agencies believe that breeding new crops is an important step towards securing food safety and developing techniques for the development of plants suitable for a given environment.

Traditional breeding of plants, cannabis among them, uses targeted hybridization (crossbreeding) of closely or distantly related individuals with the aim of creating new varieties or lines with desirable properties.

Thanks to hybridization, the properties or genes of a variety or line are transplanted into a new genetic environment. For example, you may crossbreed one particular cannabis strain resistant against mold with another one that has a high yield but a greater susceptibility against mold. The purpose of such hybridization is to create a variety highly resistant against mold while maintaining the high yield.

 

Backcrossing

A clever breeder then crosses the progeny of this hybridization with the original high-yielding variety, thus ensuring the new variety be the closest to the variety with the high yield: this process is called backcrossing. The progeny of the backcrossing is then tested for yields and mold resistance, with the high-yield plants being developed further.

Plants of a single variety can also be crossbred with each other, which creates the so-called inbred varieties for breeding.

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