Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Glossary of Terms from Allard, “Principles of Plant Breeding”

The process by which individuals (or parts of individuals), populations, or species change form or function in such a way to better survive under given environmental conditions. Also the result of this process.
Allele or Allelomorph: One of a pair or series of forms of a gene which are alternative in inheritance because they are situated at the same locus in homologous chromosomes.
Asynapsis: Failure of pairing of homologous chromosomes during meiosis.
Autogamy: Self-fertilization.
Avirulent: Inability of a pathogen to produce a disease on its host.
Backcross: a cross of a hybrid to either of its parents. In genetics, a cross of a heterozygote to a homozygous recessive. (See test cross)
Backcross Breeding: A system of breeding whereby recurrent backcrosses are made to one of the parents of a hybrid, accompanied by selection for a specific character or characters.
Balance: The condition in which genetic components are adjusted in proportions that give satisfactory development. Balance applies to individuals and populations.
Basic Number: The number of chromosomes in ancestral diploid ancestors of polyploids, represented by x.
Biotype: A group of individuals with the same genotype. Biotypes may be homozygous or heterozygous.
Bivalent: A pair of homologous chromosomes united in the first meiotic division.
Breeder Seed: Seed produced by the agency sponsoring a variety and used to produce foundation seed.
Breeding: The art and science of changing plants or animals genetically.
Bulk Breeding: The growing of genetically diverse populations of self-pollinated crops in a bulk plot with or without mass selection, followed by single-plant selection.
Certified Seed: Seed used for commercial crop production produced from foundation, registered, or certified seed under regulation of a legally constituted agency.
Centromere: (See kinetochore)
Character: An attribute of an organism resulting from the interaction of a gene or genes with the environment.
Chiasma: An exchange of partners between paired chromatids in the first division of meiosis.
Chromatid: One of two threadlike structures formed by the longitudinal division of a chromosome during meiotic prophase and known as a daughter chromosome during anaphase.
Chromosomes: Structural units of the nucleus which carry the genes in linear order. Chromosomes undergo a typical cycle in which their morphology changes drastically in various phases of the life cycle of the organisms.
Clone: A group of organisms descended by mitosis from a common ancestor.
Combining Ability: General, average performance of a strain in a series of crosses. Specific deviation from performance predicted on the basis of the general combining ability.
Coupling: Linked recessive alleles occur in one homologous chromosome and their dominant alternatives occur in the other chromosome. Opposed to repulsion in which one dominant and one recessive occur in each member of the pair of homologous chromosomes.
Crossing Over: The exchange of corresponding segments between chromatids of homologous chromosomes during meiotic prophase. Its genetic consequence is the recombination of linked genes.
Diallel Cross, Complete: The crossing in all possible combinations of a series of genotypes.
Dihybrid: Heterozygous with respect to two genes.
Dioecious: Plants in which staminate and pistillate flowers occur on different individuals.
Diploid: An organism with two chromosomes of each kind.
Diplotene: The stage of meiosis which follows pachytene and during which the four chromatids of each bivalent move apart in two pairs but remain attached in the region of the chiasmata.
Disease: A departure from normal metabolism and a reduction of its normal potential for growth and reproduction.
Disjunction: The separation of chromosomes at anaphase.
Dominance: Intra-allelic interaction such that one allele manifests itself more or less, when heterozygous, than its alternative allele.
Donor Parent: The parent from which one or a few genes are transferred to the recurrent parent in backcross breeding.
Double Cross: A cross between two F1 hybrids.
Emasculation: Removal of the anthers from a flower.
Epistasis: Dominance of one gene over a non-allelic gene. The gene suppressed is said to be hypostatic. More generally, the term epistasis is used to describe all types of interallelic interaction whereby manifestation at any locus is affected by genetic phase at any or all loci.
Epiphytotic: An unarrested spread of a plant disease.
Expressivity: The degree of manifestation of a genetic character.
F1: The first generation of a cross.
F2: The second filial generation obtained by self-fertilization or crossing F1 individuals.
F3: Progeny obtained by self-fertilization of F2 individuals.
Factor: Same as gene.
Facultative: Parasites which can grow and live in environments other than living host tissue.
Family: A group of individuals directly related by descent from a common ancestor.
Fertility: Ability to produce viable offspring.
Fertilization: Fusion of the nuclei of male and female gametes.
Foundation Seed: Seed stock produced from breeder seed under the direct control of an agricultural experiment station. Foundation seed is the source of certified seed, either directly or through registered seed.
Gamete: Cell of meiotic origin specialized for fertilization.
Gene: The unit of inheritance. Genes are located at fixed loci in chromosomes and can exist in a series of alternative forms called alleles.
Gene Frequency: The proportion in which alternative alleles of a gene occur in a population.
Gene Interaction: Modification of gene action by a non-allelic gene or genes.
Germplasm: The sum total of the hereditary materials in a species.
Genome: A set of chromosomes corresponding to the haploid set of a species.
Genotype: The entire genetic constitution of an organism.
Haploid: A cell or organism with the gametic chromosome number (n).
Heritability: The proportion of observed variability which is due to heredity, the remainder
being due to environmental causes. More strictly, the proportion of observed variability due to the additive effects of genes.
Heterosis: Hybrid vigor such that an F1 hybrid falls outside the range of the parents with respect to some character or characters. Usually applied to size, rate of growth, or general thriftiness.
Heterozygous: Having unlike alleles at one or more corresponding loci (opposite of homozygous).
Homology of Chromosomes: Applied to whole chromosomes or parts of chromosomes which synapse or pair in meiotic prophase.
Host Resistance: The result of genetic manipulation of the host which renders it less susceptible to pathogens that would or do attack the host.
Hybrid: The product of a cross between genetically unlike parents.
I1, I2, I3... Symbols that are used to designate first, second, third, etc. inbred generations.
Inbred Line A line produced by continued inbreeding. In plant breeding, a nearly homozygous line usually originating by continued self-fertilization, accompanied by selection.
Inbreeding: The mating of individuals more closely related than individuals mating at random.
Independence: The relationship between variables when the variation of each is uninfluenced by that of others, that is, correlation of zero.
Isogenic Lines: Two or more lines differing from each other genetically at one locus only. Distinguished from clones, homozygous lines, identical twins, etc. which are identical at all loci.
Isolation: The separation of one group from another so that the mating between or among groups is prevented.
Kinetochore: Spindle attachment. A localized region in each chromosome to which the “spindle fiber” appears to be attached and which seems to determine movement of the chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis.
Line Breeding: A system of breeding in which a number of genotypes, which have been progeny tested in retrospect to some character or group of characters, are composited to form a variety.
Linkage: Association of characters in inheritance due to location of genes in proximity on the same chromosome.
Linkage Map: Map of position of genes in chromosomes determined by recombination relationships.
Linkage Value: Recombination fraction expressing the proportion of crossovers versus parental types in a progeny. The recombination fraction can vary from zero to one half.
Locus: The position occupied by a gene in a chromosome.
M1, M2, M3... Symbols used to designate first, second, third, etc. generations after treatment with a mutagenic agent.
Male Sterility: Absence or non-function of pollen in plants.
Mass-Pedigree Method: A system of breeding in which a population is propagated in mass until conditions favorable for selection to occur, after which pedigree selection is practiced.
Mass Selection: A form of a selection in which individual plants are selected and the next generation is propagated from the aggregate of their seeds.
Mating System: Any number of schemes by which individuals are assorted in pairs leading to sexual reproduction. Random; assortment of pairs is by chance. Genetic assortative mating; mating together of individuals more closely related than individuals mating at random. Genetic disassortative mating; mating together of individuals less closely related than individuals mating at random. Phenotypic assortative mating; mating individuals more alike in appearance than the average. Phenotypic disassortative mating; mating of individuals less alike in appearance than individuals mating at random.
Meiosis: A double mitosis occurring in sexual reproduction which results in production of gametes with haploid (n) chromosome number.
Metaphase: The stage of meiosis or mitosis at which the chromosomes lie on the spindle.
Mitosis: The process by which the nucleus is divided into two daughter nuclei with equivalent chromosome complements, usually accompanied by division of the cell containing the nucleus.
Modifying Genes: Genes that affect the expression of a non-allelic gene or genes.
Monoecious: Staminate and pistillate flowers born separately on the same plant.
Mutation: A sudden heritable variation in a gene or in a chromosome structure.
Obligate: Parasite that cannot multiply in nature without a host.
Oliogenic Resistance: Resistance determined by one or few genes whose effects are readily detectable.
Outcross: A cross, usually natural, to a plant of different genotype.
Pachytene: The double-thread or four strand stage of meiosis.
Parasite: Lives in or on another organism and obtains nutrients from it.
Parthenogenesis: Development of an organism from a sex cell in respect to some characteristic.
Parameter: A numerical quantity which specifies a population in respect to some characteristic.
Pathogen: A parasite which produces disease in its host.
Pedigree: A record of the ancestry of an individual, family, or strain.
Pedigree Breeding: A system of breeding in which individual plants are selected in the segregating generations from a cross on the basis of their desirability judged individually and on the basis of a pedigree record.
Penetrance: The frequency with which a gene produces a recognizable effect in the individuals which carry it.
Phenotype: Appearance of an individual as contrasted with its genetic make-up or genotype. Also, used to designate a group of individuals with similar appearance but not necessarily identical genotypes.
Phytolexins: Substances produced or formed by host plants in response to injury, physiological stimuli, infectious agents, or their products that accumulate to levels which inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Some include toxic substances produced to repel insects and nematodes.
Polycross: Open pollination of a group of genotypes (generally selected), in isolation from other compatible genotypes, in such a way as to promote random mating.
Polygenic: Determined by several genes whose effects are readily detectable.
Populations: In genetics, a community of individuals which share a common gene pool. In statistics, a hypothetical and infinitely large series of potential observations among which observations may actually constitute a sample.
Progeny Test: A test of the value of a genotype based on the performance of its offspring
produced in some definite system of mating.
Protandry: Maturation of anthers before pistils.
Protogyny: Maturation of pistils before anthers.
Pure Line: A strain homozygous at all loci, ordinarily obtained by successive self-fertilizations in plant breeding.
Qualitative Character: A character in which variation is discontinuous.
Quantitative Character: A character in which variation is continuous so that classification into discrete categories is not possible.
Random: Arrived at by chance without discrimination.
Randomization: Process of making assignments at random.
Recessive: The member of an allelic pair which is not expressed when the other (dominant) member occupies the homologous chromosome.
Reciprocal Crosses: Crosses in which the sources of the male and female gametes are reversed.
Recombination: Formation of new combinations of genes as a result of segregation in crosses between genetically different parents. Also, the rearrangement of linked genes due to crossing over.
Recurrent Parent: The parent to which successive backcrosses are made in backcross breeding.
Recurrent Selection: A method of breeding designed to concentrate favorable genes scattered among a number of individuals by selecting, each generation, among the progeny produced by matings of the selected individuals (or their selfed progeny) of the previous generation.
Registered Seed: The progeny of foundation seed normally grown to produce certified seed.
Rogue: A variation from the standard type of a variety or strain. Roguing; removal of undesirable individuals to purify a stock.
Resistance: The restriction of development of a pathenogenic agent or parasite. Can vary in degree from immunity (no development) to only slight retardation relative to a so called susceptible reaction.
S1, S2, S3... Symbols for designating first, second, third, etc. selfed generations from an ancestral plant (S0).
Segregation: Separation of paternal from maternal chromosomes at meiosis and consequent separation of genes leading to the possibility of recombination in the offspring.
Selection: In genetics, discrimination among individuals in the number of offspring contributed to the next generation. In statistics, discrimination in sampling leading to bias. Opposed to randomness.
Self-Fertilization: Fusion of male and female gametes from the same individual.
Self-Incompatibility: Genetically controlled physiological hindrance to self-fruitfulness.
Single Cross: A cross between two genotypes, usually two inbred lines, in plant breeding.
Species: The unit of taxonomic classification into which genera are subdivided. A group of similar individuals different from other similar arrays of individuals. In sexually reproducing organisms, the maximum interbred group isolated from other species by barriers of sterility or reproductive incapacity.
Strain: A group of similar individuals within a variety.
Synapsis: Conjugation at pachytene and zygotene of homologous chromosomes.
Synthetic Variety: A variety produced by crossing a number of genotypes selected for good combining ability in all possible hybrid combinations, with subsequent maintenance of the variety by open pollination.
Telophase: The last stage in cell division before the nucleus returns to a resting condition.
Tetraploid: An organism with four basic (x) sets of chromosomes.
Top Cross: A cross between a selection, line, clone, etc., and a common pollen parent which may be a variety, inbred line, single cross, etc. The common pollen parent is called the top cross or tester parent. In corn, a top cross is commonly an inbred-variety cross.
Transgressive Segregation: Appearance in segregating generations of individuals falling outside the parental range in respect to some character.
Translocation: Change in position of a segment of a chromosome to another location in the same or different chromosomes.
Variation: The occurrence of differences among individuals due to differences in their genetic composition and/or the environment in which they were raised.
Variety: A subdivision of a species. A group of individuals within a species which are distinct in form or function from other similar arrays of individuals.
Virulence: Capacity of a pathogen to incite a disease.
x: Basic number of chromosomes in a polyploid series.
X1, X2, X3... Symbols denoting first, second, third, etc. generations from and irradiated ancestral plants (X0).
Zygote: Cell formed by the union of two gametes and the individual developing from this cell.
Zygotene: A stage in meiotic prophase when the threadlike chromosomes pair.


Factor : A particle or unit in the organism which is responsible for the inheritance and expression of a particular character.

: Mendel’s factor is now known as gene. A gene is a particular segment of a DNA molecule which determines the inheritance and expression of a particular character.

Alleles or Allelomorphs
: Two or more alternative forms of a gene are called alleles or allelomorphs. For example in pea, the gene for producing seed shape may occur in two alternative forms: round (R) and wrinkled (r). Round and wrinkled forms of the gene are alleles of each other. Alleles occupy same locus on homologous chromosomes.

Dominant : Of the two alternating forms (allomorphs) of a trait, the one which appears in the F1 hybrid is called the dominant trait (Dominant Allele).

: Of the two alternating allomorphs of a trait, one which is suppressed (does not appear) in the F1 hybrid is called the recessive trait (recessive allele).

Genotype : The genetic make-up or genic constitution of an individual (which he/she inherits from the parents ) is called the genotype, e.g., the genotype of pure round seeded parent will be RR.

Phenotype : The external (morphological) appearance of an individual for any trait or traits is called the phenotype, e.g. for seeds, round shape or wrinkled shape is the phenotype.

Homozygous : An individual possessing (receiving from parents) identical alleles for a trait is said to be homozygous or pure for that trait, e.g. plant with RR alleles is homozygous for the seed shape. A homozygous always breeds true for that trait.

Heterozygous : An individual receiving dissimilar alleles for a trait is said to be heterozygous or impure for that trait, e.g. a plant with Rr alleles is heterozygous for the seed shape. Heterozygous is also called a hybrid.

Parent generations : The parents used for the first cross represent the parent (or P1) generation.

F1 generation : The progeny produced from a cross between two parents (P1) is called First Filial or F1 generation.

Inbreeding : When the individuals of a progeny (e.g. F1 generation) are allowed to cross with each other, it is called inbreeding.

F2 generation : The progeny resulting from self hybridization or inbreeding of F1 individuals is called Second Filial or F2 generation.

Monohybrid cross : The cross between two parents differing in a single pair of contrasting characters is called monohybrid cross and the F1offspring as the hybrid(heterozygous for one trait only).

Monohybrid ratio : The phenotypic ratio of 3 dominants : 1 recessive obtained in the F2 generation from the monohybrid cross is called monohybrid ratio.

Dihybrid cross : The cross between two parents in which two pairs of contrasting characters are studied simultaneously for the inheritance pattern. The F1 offspring is described as dihybrid or double heterozygous (i.e. with dissimilar alleles for two characters).

Dihybrid ratio : The phenotypic ratio obtained in the F2 generation from a dihybrid cross is called dihybrid ratio. In Mendelian experiments, this ratio is 9:3:3:1.

Homologues or Homologous chromosomes : The morphologically similar looking chromosomes in a diploid cell (one chromosome coming from the male parent and the other from the female parent) are called homologous chromosomes. They have identical gene loci bearing alleles.

DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid, the heritable material of an organism.

Gene: The units of inheritance that transmit information from parents to offspring.

Chromosome: A long threadlike association of genes in the nucleus of all eukaryotic cells which are visible during meiosis and mitosis. A chromosome consists out of DNA and proteins. An organism always has 2n chromosomes, which means that all chromosomes are paired.

Genotype: This is the genetic makeup of an organism: the genes

Phenotype: The physical and physiological traits of an organism. These are influenced by genetic makeup (genes) and surrounding.

Allele: Another word for gene. Each chromosome has a copy of this allel, thus a gene-pair.

Homozygous: This term indicates that an organism has two identical alleles at a single place on a chromosome. This results in an organism that breeds true for only one trait.

Heterozygous: This term indicates that an organism has two different copies of a gene on each chromosome.

Dominant gene: In a heterozygote, this allele (gene) is fully expressed in the phenotype. In genetic schemes, these genes are always depicted with a capital letter.

Recessive gene: In a heterozygote, this allele (gene) is completely masked in the phenotype. In genetic schemes, these genes are always depicted with a lower case letter.

Intermediair gene: This is when in a heterozygote, an allele (gene) is not fully masked in the phenotype. You can already see some of the characteristics of the gene.
Good examples of this are the genes for crown- and doubletail.
- Fish with only one copy of the crowntail (ct) gene (will most of the time) already show some ray extensions.
- Fish with only one copy of the doubletail (dt) gene (will most of the time) already show a broader dorsal fin and fuller finnage.


How to indicate the different generations?

When two unrelated parents (P) are crossed their hybrid offspring is called the F1 generation (for the first filial generation).

When the F1 generation is interbred their offspring is called the F2 generation (for the second filial generation).

When the F2 generation is interbred their offspring is called the F3 generation (for the third filial generation).

And so on........


Now try to visualize this using for example the allele for hair color in humans:

Brown hair is a dominant trait. How is it possible that two parents with brown hair get a blond daughter of son?

The allel for “brown hair” is dominant and depicted with “B”.
The allel for “blond hair” is recessive and depicted with “b”.

The answer lies here: Remember that all alleles come in pairs and that the parents have to be heterozygous for the allel for haircolor. This means that both parents have to posses the recessive trait for blond hair (“b”) besides the dominant trait for brown hair (“B”), thus “Bb”. The best thing to visualize this is by the use of a Punnet-square:

The offspring of two parents carrying the heterozygous “Bb” genotype can result in the following offspring: 25% homozygous for brown hair (“BB”), 50% heterozygous for brown hair (“Bb”) and 25% homozygous for blond hair (“bb”).


Inbreeding, linebreeding and outcrossing
In order to breed good quality Betta splendens, different breeding methods are used. Inbreeding, linebreeding and outcrossing play an important role in setting up a quality line of Betta splendens.
A systematic program of breeding closely-related animals. This generally refers to father x daughter, mother x son, and brother x sister parings.

This term is used to describe a less intense program of inbreeding. This generally refers to closely related pairings like uncle x niece and halfbrother x halfsister.

Outcrossing: Outcrossing refers to the breeding of two unrelated (inbred) strains.

What does inbreeding do in the genetic sense?
Inbreeding will increase the probability that any given gene has two identical copies derived from the same ancestor. It tends to make all genes more homozygous. Remember each animal has 2 two copies of a given gene (technically speaking, two alleles at each locus on the chromosome) one from each parent. Unfortunately we are not able to only select the desired genes we want because genes come as a package…….

One has to keep in mind that in the quest for fixating the desired traits by inbreeding, there is always the chance that we unintentionally loose some of the desired (“good”) genes and fixate some undesired (“bad”) genes which surface throughout the process.

Good examples of this are for instance the inbred strains of laboratory rodents. The process of inbreeding used to create this type of strains most of the time kills the majority of the strains between the 8th and 12th generations due to a loss of fertility (reduction in litter size) and viability. The strains, which survive these critical 8th-12th generations, form the inbred laboratory strains. These animals are homozygous for a more or less random selection of genes derived form the initial pair.

Why outcrossing?
As described in the example of the laboratory rodents above, in general inbreeding can be done up to F8 (8th generation). Most times the rate of breeding success is really low at this stage.

When we extrapolate this example to Betta splendens, extensive inbreeding can result in fish which show a number of undesired characteristics like: smaller bodies, decrease viability, decrease of aggressiveness, decrease of fertility, not building bubble nests, fish which don’t know how to wrap themselves around the female, etc. This is why it is advisable to use an out-cross (unrelated partner, fresh blood) once in a while in order to keep the lines healthy and viable.

When choosing the outcross candidate, the breeder always needs to decide which outcross candidate possesses the desired traits that can improve the established inbred line. Off course there is also a risk in outcrossing because a breeder can loose the type of betta he has been worked on for a long time. Breeders often decide to cross the hybrid offspring of an outcross back to their original inbred line. This in order to add the new or improven traits that were brought in by using an outcross, but also in order to eliminate possible bad traits brought by the outcross.

Terminology & Definitions II

Population Genetics Definitions

Adaptation = A trait that increases the survivability of an individual or its ability to reproduce when compared to individuals that do not possess that trait

Adaptive Radiation = Radiation of a group of organisms into populations adapted to exploit different ecological niches

Adaptive Trait = A trait that increases the fitness of an individual

Allopatric Speciation = Speciation that occurs when populations become geographically isolated due to genetic drift and when selection pressures differ between the two populations

Assortative Mating = A mating pattern that occurs when individuals tend to mate with other individuals of the same genotype and phenotype

Bottleneck = A large scale but short term decrease in the population size followed by an increase in the population size. Can cause speciation events

Convergent Evolution = Similarities between species that are the result of similar, but evolutionarily independent responses to common environmental factors. E.g. The wing of a bird and the wing of a butterfly

= Descent with modification = a change in the characteristics of a population over time = changes in the allele frequency of a population over time

Fitness = The degree to which an individual contributes genes to the next generation

Founder Effect = The establishment of a new population by a small number of individuals. can cause speciation events

Frequency = The proportion of a genotype, phenotype, gamete, or allele in a population. E.g. 6/10 have brown hair = a frequency of 0.6

Gene Pool = All of the copies of all of the alleles in a population that could be contributed by members of the present generation to members of the next generation

Genetic Drift = A change in the allele frequency of a population resulting from sampling error in taking gametes from the gene pool to make zygotes and from chance variation in the survival/reproductive success of individuals

Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
= An ideal population in which the allele and genotype frequencies do not change from one generation to the next generation due to a lack of selection, mutation, migration, and genetic drift and due to the occurrence of random mating

= The fraction of the total phenotypic variation in a population that is caused by genetic differences between individuals

Homology = Similarities between species that results from the inheritance of traits from a common ancestor

Homoplasy = Similarities in the traits found in different species that is due to convergent evolution, parallelism, or reversal. It is not due to common descent

Hybrid Zone = A geographic zone where different populations/species interbreed

Inbreeding = Mating between relatives

Inbreeding Depression = A decrease in the fitness of an individual or a population due to inbreeding. It is often the result of a decrease in heterozygosity of an increase in the homozygosity (both are due to inbreeding)

Inclusive Fitness = An individual's total fitness = indirect fitness (fitness due to the reproduction by relatives made possible by that individual) + direct fitness (fitness due to the individual's own reproduction)

Macroevolution = Large scale evolutionary change = evolution of the differences between populations that would justify their placement into different genera (or higher level taxa)

Microevolution = Changes in the gene frequencies and trait distributions that occur within species and populations

Migration = The movement of alleles from one population to another population due to the movement of individuals or gametes

Natural Selection = Specific phenotypes confer increased survivability or reproductive success to the individuals that possess them

Negative Selection = Selection against deleterious mutations

Outbreeding = Mating between unrelated individuals

Polymorphism = The existence of more than one allele or variant in a population

= A group of individuals capable of interbreeding plus all of their offspring

Positive Selection = Selection for advantageous mutations

Preadaptation = A trait that changes due to natural selection and takes on a new function

Relative Fitness
= The fitness of an individual, phenotype, or genotype compared to other individuals in the population

Species = Groups of populations that are capable of interbreeding and are evolutionarily independent from other populations

Sympatric Speciation = A speciation event involving species living in the same geographic area

Synapomorphy = A shared derived trait

Transitional Form = A species exhibiting traits that are common to both the ancestral and derived groups

Phylogenetics Definitions

Bootstrapping = A term commonly used in phylogenetic reconstruction = A technique used for estimating the strength of evidence for the existence of a particular node in a phylogenetic tree. Values range between 0% and 100% with 100% being the strongest level of support

Branch = A branch in a phylogenetic tree. See diagram

= A group of species descended from a common ancestor = a monophyletic group

Evolution = Descent with modification = a change in the characteristics of a population over time = changes in the allele frequency of a population over time

= Living today

= Not living today

Monophyletic Group = A population of a group of species descended from a common ancestor

Node = Branching point in a phylogenetic tree. See diagram

Outgroup = In phylogenetic analysis, a group that diverged prior to the rest of the taxa

Paraphyletic Group
= A group of species that includes the common ancestor and some, but not all of that common ancestor's descendants

= The evolutionary history of a group

= DNA sequences that are homologous and resemble functioning genes, but are not transcribed

Sister Species
= Species that diverged from the same node on a phylogenetic tree

= Groups of populations that are capable of interbreeding and are evolutionarily independent from other populations

= Any named group of organisms

Tip = The end of a branch on a phylogenetic tree.

Parental selection

Selecting the parents to develop a population is the essential component of both nascent and mature plant breeding programs. But how to do it? Many questions arise. What are the primary traits of interest? What secondary traits need to be considered? What is their inheritance? Who is the beneficiary of the cultivars to come from the population–farmers, consumers, seed companies? What are the biggest issues facing a crop–diseases, pests, nutritional profiles, etc.? Should the needs of the cropping system be included, not just the needs of the crop per se? No clear answer can be given to these questions, but the breeder must take some note of each of them as he or she assembles the parents to be used to form their population.

After answering the questions regarding needs and desired end products, the breeder attempts to identify germplasm that contains the traits and variability for the traits that are needed. Two factors are important in developing a base population: (1) the mean performance of the population–that is, the base population should have a reasonable mean performance at the outset of the breeding program, and (2) the genetic variance of the population–that is, a population with a high mean performance will not be useful for future selection if it has no genetic variability.

Thus, parents should be selected that have good performance but that derive from a variety of ancestries to optimize both mean performance and genetic variance in the population. Once the parents have been intercrossed in some manner (as discussed below), selection can begin. Typically, breeders make good x good crosses to capitalize on the improvement made up until now and to push it further. The hope is that recombination among the elite parental genotypes will produce transgressive progeny, thereby advancing the population, and the resulting cultivars, to a new level.

The sources of germplasm can be virtually anything that crosses with your crop, but in general, the best material availabe–commercial cultivars or elite breeding lines–is a good starting point. A problem arises if the variation for the trait of interest is small among these sources. In this case, acceptable breeding lines, superior in one or more characteristics but deficient in others, is a good choice. If more variation is needed, or if new traits need to be incorporated (e.g., resistance to a new disease), plant introductions can be considered.

Definitions from Seedsman.com

Acclimatise - become adapted to new environmental conditions.
Bud - The female flower of the Cannabis plant where most of the cannabinoids are concentrated (e.g. THC)

Cannabinoid - molecule found only in the Cannabis plant. It occurs in many forms of which THC is the most renowned.

Cannabis indica - (hashish variety) is indigenous to the high northern mountain ranges of the Afghani Hindu Kush, Pakistani Kara Korams, Russian Pamirs and Alays, Chinese Tien Shan and Indian Himalayas. Indica strains yield earlier, stronger, more potent, fatter, heavier, resinous flowers and are typified by wide, dark green leaves, though they are usually only about 4 foot tall.

Cannabis sativa - (ganja variety) is indigenous to Mexico, Columbia, Thailand, India, Africa and, in fact, most of the world. Sativa strains have a sweeter, fruity taste and aroma, a higher flower to leaf ratio. They are large "pine tree-like" plants with light green leaves. The sativa high is a clearer, more electric, cerebral experience.

CBD - or cannabidiol is another form of Cannabinoid that seems to reduce the psychoactive effect and reduces anxiety and panic reactions occasionally caused by Cannabis.

Cerebral - pertaining to the mind or head, mental.

Crossing - Mating and breeding from two strains.

Cured - to manicure and dry the flowers of a plant.

F1 Hybrid - the offspring of two true-breeding plants.

F2 - the offspring resulting from a cross between two F1 hybrids.

Genetics - parental combination of a strain.

Hashish - a drug formed of resin heads of glandular trichomes shaken or rubbed from flowers, pressed together and shaped.

Haze - late maturing strain with a renowned taste and effect.

Hermaphrodite - a plant that produces both male and female flowers, this enables it to self-fertilize.

Hermetically - out of external influence.

Hybrid - the offspring of two different strains of a plant.

Hybridisation - When a cross produces offspring that do not breed true (i.e. the offspring do not all resemble their parents) we say the parents have genes that are hybrid. Hybridisation is the process of mixing different gene pools to produce offspring of great genetic variation from which distinctive individuals can be selected.

IBL - inbred line, a stabilised hybrid that will breed "true to type" if reproduced from its own seeds.

Manicure - to cut away unwanted leaves from the flower.

Maturation - The growth of the flowers of the plant before they are ready to be harvested when THC levels are at a maximum.

Nederwiet - literally "low weed", found in Holland and Europe before the emergence of new more potent strains.

Psychedelic - effecting the mind e.g. hallucinations.

Psychoactive - affecting consciousness or psyche.

Pure-bred - traditional land races that have only interbred with the same strain and so have almost identical genes

Resin - substance secreted by plants which in the case of Cannabis is where the cannabinoids (and THC) are concentrated.

Selection - choosing of favourable offspring as parents for future generations.

Sensimilla - Flowers produced from a female plant that has not been fertilized and does not contain seeds (literally ‘sin semilla’ translated from Spanish as ‘without seed’)

Skunk - (aka skunk No 1.) early maturing, stabilised hybrid, with high yield and potency.

Stabilized - A strain that will breed "true to type"

Strain - a line of offspring derived from common ancestors.

THC - tetrahydrocannbinol. This is the primary psychoactive compound in Cannabis.

Trait - An inherited characteristic.

Trichomes - plant hair.

True-breeding - If cross-pollination of two plants with a shared genetic trait results in offspring that all exhibit the same trait, and if all subsequent (inbred) generations also exhibit it, then we say that the strain is true-breeding or breeds true, for that trait. A strain may breed true in one or more traits while varying in other characteristics. For example, the traits of sweet aroma and early maturation may breed true, while offspring may vary in size or shape. The alternative is hybridisation.

Variety - there are two main varieties of Cannabis: sativa and indica, please see above. There is also a third known variety, ruderalis, which typically contains only trace amounts of THC.

Viability - potential for germination.

:: Variation in Cannabis

Here are some recent publications on patterns of variation in Cannabis. The bottom line is that so-called "indica" and "sativa" drug strains are both C. indica ... sativa is the stuff they make rope out of.

Genetic evidence for speciation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae). Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 2005. 52(2): 161-180.

Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA

__Sample populations of 157 Cannabis accessions of diverse geographic origin were surveyed for allozyme variation at 17 gene loci. The frequencies of 52 alleles were subjected to principal components analysis. A scatter plot revealed two major groups of accessions. The sativa gene pool includes fiber/seed landraces from Europe, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, and ruderal populations from Eastern Europe. The indica gene pool includes fiber/seed landraces from eastern Asia, narrow-leafleted drug strains from southern Asia, Africa, and Latin America, wide-leafleted drug strains from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and feral populations from India and Nepal. A third putative gene pool includes ruderal populations from Central Asia. None of the previous taxonomic concepts that were tested adequately circumscribe the sativa and indica gene pools. A polytypic concept of Cannabis is proposed, which recognizes three species, C. sativa, C. indica and C. ruderalis, and seven putative taxa.
A chemotaxonomic analysis of terpenoid variation in Cannabis. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 2004. 32: 875-891.

Karl W. Hillig
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 47405 USA

To determine whether the terpenoid composition of the essential oil of Cannabis is useful for chemotaxonomic discrimination, extracts of pistillate inflorescences of 162 greenhouse-grown plants of diverse origin were analyzed by gas chromatography. Peak area ratios of 48 compounds were subjected to multivariate analysis and the results interpreted with respect to geographic origin and taxonomic affiliation. A canonical analysis in which the plants were pre-assigned to C. sativa or C. indica based on previous genetic, morphological, and chemotaxonomic studies resulted in 91% correct assignment of the plants to their pre-assigned species. A scatterplot on the first two principal component axes shows that plants of accessions from Afghanistan assigned to the wide-leaflet drug biotype (an infraspecific taxon of unspecified rank) of C. indica group apart from the other putative taxa. The essential oil of these plants usually had relatively high ratios of guaiol, isomers of eudesmol, and other unidentified compounds. Plants assigned to the narrow-leaflet drug biotype of C. indica tended to have relatively high ratios of trans-beta-farnesene. Cultivars of the two drug biotypes may exhibit distinctive medicinal properties due to significant differences in terpenoid composition.
A chemotaxonomic analysis of cannabinoid variation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae).
American Journal of Botany 91(6): 966-975.

Karl W. Hillig and Paul G. Mahlberg
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Cannabinoids are important chemotaxonomic markers unique to Cannabis. Previous studies show that a plant's dry-weight ratio of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cannabidiol (CBD) can be assigned to one of three chemotypes and that alleles BD and BT encode alloenzymes that catalyze the conversion of cannabigerol to CBD and THC, respectively. In the present study, the frequencies of BD and BT in sample populations of 157 Cannabis accessions were determined from CBD and THC banding patterns, visualized by starch gel electrophoresis. Gas chromatography was used to quantify cannabinoid levels in 96 of the same accessions. The data were interpreted with respect to previous analyses of genetic and morphological variation in the same germplasm collection. Two biotypes (infraspecific taxa of unassigned rank) of C. sativa and four biotypes of C. indica were recognized. Mean THC levels and the frequency of BT were significantly higher in C. indica than C. sativa. The proportion of high THC/CBD chemotype plants in most accessions assigned to C. sativa was <25%>25%. Plants with relatively high levels of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and/or cannabidivarin (CBDV) were common only in C. indica. This study supports a two-species concept of Cannabis.

A Systematic Investigation of Cannabis
Karl W. Hillig
Doctoral Dissertation
Department of Biology, Indiana University
March, 2005.


Botanists disagree whether Cannabis (Cannabaceae) is a monotypic or polytypic genus. A systematic investigation was undertaken to elucidate underlying evolutionary and taxonomic relationships within the genus. Genetic, morphological, and chemotaxonomic analyses were conducted on 157 Cannabis accessions of known geographic origin. Sample populations of each accession were surveyed for allozyme variation at 17 gene loci. Principal component (PC) analysis of the allozyme allele frequencies revealed that most accessions were derived from two major gene pools corresponding to C. sativa L., and C. indica Lam. A third putative gene pool corresponds to C. ruderalis Janisch. Previous taxonomic treatments were tested for goodness of fit to the pattern of genetic variation. Based on these results, a working hypothesis for a taxonomic circumscription of Cannabis was proposed that is a synthesis of previous polytypic concepts. Putative infraspecific taxa were assigned to “biotypes” pending formal taxonomic revision. Genetic variation was highest in the hemp and feral biotypes and least in the drug biotypes. Morphometric traits were analyzed by PC and canonical variates (CV) analysis. PC analysis failed to differentiate the putative species, but provided objective support for recognition of infraspecific taxa of C. sativa and C. indica. CV analysis resulted in a high degree of discrimination of the putative species and infraspecific taxa. Variation in qualitative and quantitative levels of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids was determined, as were frequencies of alleles that control CBD and THC biosynthesis. The patterns of variation support a two-species concept, but not recognition of C. ruderalis as a separate species from C. sativa. PC analysis of terpenoid variation showed that the wide-leaflet drug (WLD) biotype of C. indica produced enhanced mean levels of guaiol and isomers of eudesmol, and is distinct from the other putative taxa. In summary, the results of this investigation show that a taxonomic revision of Cannabis is warranted. However, additional studies of putative wild populations are needed to further substantiate the proposed taxonomic treatment.

The art of selection and breeding fine quality cannabis by DJ Short

The art of selection and breeding fine quality cannabis by
DJ Short

How to create amazing new strains with a discerning palate, careful selection and some hard work.

Perhaps the most important aspect to consider in the breeding of fine quality cannabis is that of selection. Selective breeding is where all of today's varieties evolved from.

In the past, this chore was made easier by the fact that most of the commercially available herb was seeded and imported from outdoor plantations, usually near-equatorial in origin. These "land-race" Sativa varieties were the building blocks of the burgeoning domestic productions of the times.

The Indica (Afghan, Kush, Skunk, etc.) genetics were specially imported by West Coast interests and available to the general public around 1978. It was shortly after this time that the variance of domestic cannabis increased exponentially, as people began experimenting with crossing these two different types of pot.

Beginning breeding

The typical way to begin a breeding program is to carefully select P1 parents of pure Sativa and pure Indica, crossing them to produce an f1 hybrid that is uniform in its phenotypic growth patterns. The next step is the crossing of the f1 type with itself, which produces a very wide variation witnessed in the f2 growth patterns and expressions.

It is in this f2 second-generational cross and beyond that the art of selection really comes into play. There are a number of factors to consider at this point, such as what the male and female will each contribute; and most of all, what will the overall quality of the finished product be like?

Defining a goal and constructing a plan to accomplish it is called "top-down" programming, and this "top-down" approach applies well to cannabis breeding. It helps considerably to have a specific goal in mind when attempting to selectively breed a variety of ganja. This simple fact I cannot emphasize enough.

One must at least have an idea of what one is aiming for before beginning. For me this has little to do with plant structure and much to do with the quality of the finished product, no matter what form it is in. Having an experienced and educated palate (both mentally aesthetic and physically discernable) is key in the art of breeding fine quality cannabis.

The "goal" at the center of most of my breeding targets would be to replicate, as near as possible, the experiences produced by the great land-race varieties of old: Highland Oaxacan or Thai, Santa Marta or Acapulco Gold, Guerrero Green, Panama Red or Hawaiian Sativa… or the hash from regions such as Lebanon, Afghanistan or Nepal.

The indoor grow environment is too generic to fully replicate the great old legends. Therefore, it was necessary to settle for the next best thing: happy Sativa/Indica crosses that would perform well indoors. (It is interesting to note here that most of the fine land-race Sativa were hermaphroditic, though sometimes only minimally.)

Selection process

Obviously, you seek the parents that will produce the desired progeny. Paradoxically, this process requires selecting the best after they've been harvested. The solution is to keep samples from each plant of a test crop. This can be done via rooted clones from earlier cuttings, or re-greened mothers and fathers kept in a vegetative state and a high-nitrogen diet. Once you have chosen among the harvested plants, you can use the rooted cuttings for future consideration and possible breeding.

Pollen may also be gathered and immediately stored via vacuum sealing and deep-freezing. It is crucial to vacuum seal and freeze pollen immediately after it is collected and to use stored pollen immediately after it thaws. Dry seeds also store well over indefinite periods of time in an undisturbed deep-freeze, with some desiccant.

This process of post-harvest selection works fine for selecting desired female plants. But what about males? What is the best and most simple way to select males for breeding? Due to the fact that it is the female plants that we are ultimately familiar with, selecting males is a bit more involved.

The process is basically the same as it is with female plants, except with males the numbers are first limited down via a process of elimination, and selections made by comparing the remainder. Selecting males also takes a little more time initially as the quality of the male is not fully determined until after the seeds it produces are grown out and tested. As one becomes more familiar with a particular strain, the specific characteristics of the desirable males become apparent.

Ideally, the more seeds one starts with the better. This is, after all, a numbers game. I will assume that any basic breeding project starts with at least 20 different plants, from 20 viable seeds of high quality, professionally stabilized varieties. This would give a minimum of 10 male and 10 female plants hopefully sexed by two weeks into a flowering light cycle (short day/long night).

Once sexed, the process of elimination may begin. All of the females are kept and regularly examined to prevent unwanted hermaphroditism. Unwanted males and all hermaphrodites must be eliminated before they begin to shed pollen – usually by the third week in the flowering cycle. The female plants need to be checked for hermaphroditism until harvest.

(A quick word on "backward" hermaphrodites – declared males that eventually sport female flowers – as opposed to the usual female-to-male hermaphrodites. These are semi-rare occurrences, usually sterile but sometimes viable, that I have found at times to be valuable in their genetic contributions. Some of the most resinous and desirable males I have encountered exhibited this trait. This trait almost seems to guarantee against unwanted hermaphroditism in subsequent generations as it also increases the female to male ratio in its progeny.)


A word needs to be said about the not-too-common probabilities of what I generally refer to as a recessive combination phenomenon. Sometimes, though not often, two parents that appear to express a common desirable trait – let's say a sweet/fruity bouquet – are crossed and the progeny do not express the desirable trait.

This usually means that one or both parents possessed some sort of recessive alleles in their genotype for this characteristic. But it could also mean that the progeny had a different environment that the parents.

If environment can be ruled out then it is likely that some sort of a genetic recessive combination is the cause. If none of the progeny express the desired characteristic one may want to cross the progeny with itself and see what the outcome is.

If a common "Punnet ratio" such as 25% of a progeny express the desirable trait, then the trait is more than likely recessive and the trait may be stabilized via crossing any two of the 25% (or whatever common ratio) that show the desired trait with each other. This process is time consuming and is generally followed only if no other alternatives exist.

Selecting males

I prefer to remove all of the males from the grow-room to a separate, isolated space shortly after they declare their sex and well before they begin to shed pollen. A small space lit with simple fluorescent light will suffice for the males for the next few weeks. During this time the female buds will fatten with more flowers while your collection of males is selected down.

I generally employ a simple process of elimination while selecting males. First, any auto-flowering or very early-declared males are eliminated. (Auto-flowering means that male flowers form regardless of light cycle timing.) This is mainly to insure against hermaphroditism or unwanted flowering traits, but also as a means to insure quality. The very early declared males have a tendency to be less desirable in terms of their contributions to the quality of the finished product. (If you are trying to specifically create an early-flowering strain, then your priorities may be different.)

Next, any male plant that grows too tall or too fast is usually eliminated. The reason for this is that most plants which dedicate so much energy to fiber production generally are best for making fiber. The exception to this rule is when an over-productive plant also exhibits a number of the desirable characteristics mentioned later.

The next criteria for elimination is borrowed from Michael Starks' book, Marijuana Potency, and involves stem structure. Large, hollow main stems are sought while pith-filled stems are eliminated. Backed by years of observation, I agree that hollow stems do seem to facilitate THC production.

Another consideration is the type of floral clusters that develop. Even on males, clusters which are tight, compact and yet very productive are desired over an airy, loose structure. These observations are most notable in the indoor environment. Outdoors, the differences in stem and floral structures are more difficult to discern.

The next and perhaps most important characteristic to examine is that of odor, flavor and trichome development. Again, the females will prove themselves by their finished product, but the males are a bit trickier.

I usually begin with a Sativa female and an Indica male. It has been my observation that the females primarily contribute the type of flavor and aroma and the males contribute the amount of flavor and odor. The "Sativa/Indica" aspects of this formula are mainly apparent in the P1 or very early filial crosses (to about f3). Beyond the f3 generation the apparent "Sativa/Indica" ratio in a given individual is less important than the odor/flavor and trichome development aspects it exhibits. Therefore, one of the main aspects to consider when selecting a male is the depth of its aroma and flavor. (If you are seeking to develop a low-odor indoor strain you might wish to begin with a low-odor Sativa male and an Indica female.)

With the remaining males I usually employ an odor/flavor test. Using males at least two or three weeks into the flowering cycle (and preferably beyond if a separate, isolated space is being used), a sort of "scratch-and-sniff" technique is first employed. With clean, odor-free fingers, gently rub one plant at a time, on the stem where it is well developed and pliable, above the woody part and below the developing top (approximately at the spot where a clone would be cut). The newer leaves at their halfway point of development may also be rubbed and sniffed.

These are the places that the earliest chemical signatures of a developing plant present themselves, and it is our intent to gently disturb these chemicals and inspire an odor/flavor reaction on the fingers and on the plant. By examining these various aromas in this way one may be able to determine certain desirable (and also undesirable) characteristics. After clearing one's palate and refreshing one's fingers, another plant may be tested.

The finalists are best compared for at least a week and at different times of day, to determine who performs best over a period of time.

A few of the "good" aromas which I have found to be associated with both male and female high quality cannabis are: sweet, floral, fruity, berry, wine/brandy, other savory spirits, skunky and spearmint. Some of the "bad" aromas associated with both male and female cannabis are: grassy, chlorophyll (green), celery, parsley, carrots, cinnamon, pepper-mint or wintergreen, gear-oil and gasoline. Some of the aromas that are considered "good" from females but not necessarily from males are: woody, cedar, pine, citrus, tropical fruit, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, garlic and astringent.

Worldwide weed

It is sad that due to the Unfortunate State of Assholes in the world today we herbalists are treated criminally. Sad because given saner times we would be able to produce vast amounts of fine quality herb by virtue of no more than the great outdoors, large numbered populations and trial and error.

Someday perhaps, but in the meantime I have few alternate suggestions. Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain and other parts of Europe are opening up more and more toward herbal tolerance. It is relatively easy in these places to score some high quality product.

It is advisable for the newbie to a scene to buy many small samples of herbals at first until one finds what one likes. Just like in any other travel situation, special surprises await those willing to venture out from the centralized tourist areas (except in Christiania where "one stop shopping" is greatly enjoyed).

I am willing to bet that some of the many herbal "sweet spots" around the globe may once again be producing their specialties. I am eager to verify any rumor of such possibilities. These sweet spots would include many equatorial and near equatorial regions such as Colombia, Highland Mexico, parts of Thailand, Burma and Bhutan to name a few. Places such as Nepal and Jamaica have been ideal for herbal expeditions as well. These are some of the places one could venture in search of educating one's herbal palate and expanding one's experience. n

Constant testing

After selections are made, it is also necessary to remember to test for these qualities across a number of clone generations. Do the desirable characteristics present in a new plant (from seed) persist through the following clone generations of that plant? Does the plant from clones of the original carry the same odor/flavor quality? The same potency? Overall desirability? The answers most definitely need to be "yes" if that individual is to be considered for future breeding.

With much practice and years of experience it becomes apparent to those with a sensitive palate which individuals possess the most desirable characteristics from a given sample.
I suggest that your taste and smell be augmented with the use of an illuminated magnifier, either 30X, 60X or 100X power
will do.

Look at the same aforementioned spot on the stem or developing leaves any time after the second week in the bud cycle and look for the greatest abundance of developing trichomes or secretory hairs (hairs that secrete fluid obvious at 30X and above magnification). More fully developed trichomes with very clear heads are generally the most desirable.

These observations need to be done over a period of time (that is, not just a one-time look) and at different times of the day to determine which individuals perform best. Many various phenomena become apparent to those who are able to pay close attention over a period of time. To that effect I suggest you compile and composite detailed notes on one's observations, and to compare those notes over time. Detailed, comprehensive notes are the hallmark of any successful breeding program.

It is possible to test males by smoking or otherwise consuming them. This practice may be somewhat beneficial to beginners as it does involve a sort of obvious discretion. I suggest using only fresh tips, properly cured and rolled into a joint. Also, make sure that this test smoke is the first smoke one consumes in a day in order to best discern its qualities, or lack thereof.

Some other aspects to consider

There are a number of aesthetic considerations to consider regarding fine quality cannabis breeding, such as color, overall structure, growth patterns and various bouquets. My primary goal involves finding the finished product with the most desirable and pleasant effects. So I focus on those aspects and stabilize them first. Once stabilized, a backcross or a cross to another variety may be utilized to further improve the line and/or increase vigor, if necessary.

On the experimental level the finished product is expected to be either pleasant or powerful, depending on the individual. I prefer an herb that is pleasantly powerful or powerfully pleasant! So that is the sought-after goal. The range of experiences elicited by cannabis can vary from bliss to panic to stupefying. I much prefer the bliss aspects.

The best descriptive dichotomy in this case would be comfort vs. discomfort. I also suppose some personality types may enjoy a more exciting experience – perhaps only once in awhile – a feeling somewhat akin to the entertainment of a roller coaster ride or a horror movie.

Cannabis is unusual in its varying effects on our vascular-circulatory system. Some cannabis strains seem to act as a vasodilator and others as a vasoconstrictor. A vasoconstrictor is a substance that constricts blood vessels. It tends to elicit tension, excitement, anxiety, and even panic. A vasodilator is a substance that dilates blood vessels and tends to relax a person more easily into a blissful state. Therefore, I tend to prefer cannabis that seems to act as a vasodilator, simply not to the point of couch lock sedation.

I have nothing against powerfully stony herb. It is just that as long as my breeding space is limited, I will choose to work with the more pleasant varieties – those that elicit a generally happy experience. Someday I look forward to working at stabilizing many different varieties of herb. After all, to each their own.

Tinnitus and dyskinesia are common symptoms of a vasoconstrictor reaction. Tinnitus is ringing in the ears, and dyskinesia, in this instance, is usually felt as a tingling in the extremities, especially the little fingers, toes and ears. Another bad sign would be any form of tension headache or unwanted body load. If these symptoms occur regularly after indulging in a particular herb, the herb may be contributing to the sensation.

Does it pass the acid test?

To borrow and paraphrase a disclaimer from Dr Hunter S Thompson; "I cannot condone drug usage, but I must admit it has worked well for me." In particular, the psychedelics (entheogens, entactogens, and hallucinogens included) are paramount as a testing tool when breeding fine quality cannabis.

A favored testing formula of mine involves preparations being made days in advance. One needs to have a perfectly cured sample of the herb one wishes to test ready at hand before the test. Fasting (from substances primarily, but also some foods) and cleansing (exercise, sweating or sauna, re-hydration and meditation, etc.) are employed for a period prior to the test. This is to as fully as possible re-calibrate one's baseline state of consciousness to its most basic, clean state.

A time is selected, a toast made and the trip material is ingested. I generally like to eat a simple meal of soup or juice and bread after I ingest a substance and before I begin to alert (first noticing the effect of a substance).

Do not ingest any herb, or any other consciousness-altering substance until after one has alerted, preferably prior to the peak of the trip. Ingest only a small amount of the herb to be tested at first, one toke at a time, unless this is a follow-up test and one is already familiar with the experience.

Ideally, the psychedelic substance will further the range of noticeable subtleties by one's psyche and allow a broader appreciation of the effect from the herb. An herb that is truly powerful and pleasant will usually profoundly express its experience upon the opened mind. That is, if the herb is truly blissful it will become more readily apparent under such psychedelic examination. Likewise, if the herb is somewhat "panicky" or "anxious" in experience, the psychedelic will exacerbate these qualities as well.

I am assuming, and offering fair warning, that those who attempt such a test are well-experienced psychic travelers. That is, all necessary considerations of set and setting must be satisfied before attempting such a trial. The psychedelic substance almost seems to act as a sort of mental catalyst when combined with herb. This combination is able to cause both desirable and undesirable traits of the herb experience to become more so apparent to the initiated mind.

These are some of the techniques, selections and considerations that I employ when breeding fine quality cannabis. Famed horticulturist Luther Burbank's quote: "select the best and reject all others" is the single most important aspect to consider.

With time, focus and patience the knack for recognizing desirable and undesirable traits becomes more apparent. Having an open and curious mind, along with a developed sense of intuition, is beneficial.

May your ventures be fruitful.


A word needs to be said about the not-too-common probabilities of what I generally refer to as a recessive combination phenomenon. Sometimes, though not often, two parents that appear to express a common desirable trait – let's say a sweet/fruity bouquet – are crossed and the progeny do not express the desirable trait.

This usually means that one or both parents possessed some sort of recessive alleles in their genotype for this characteristic. But it could also mean that the progeny had a different environment that the parents.

If environment can be ruled out then it is likely that some sort of a genetic recessive combination is the cause. If none of the progeny express the desired characteristic one may want to cross the progeny with itself and see what the outcome is.

If a common "Punnet ratio" such as 25% of a progeny express the desirable trait, then the trait is more than likely recessive and the trait may be stabilized via crossing any two of the 25% (or whatever common ratio) that show the desired trait with each other. This process is time consuming and is generally followed only if no other alternatives exist.

Ganja Godesses

One of the things I learned a long time ago was that something more than genetics or biological environment plays a role in the desirability of herb. During the 70's and 80's, as the number of growers proliferated, it became apparent to those privy to the info that a grower's personal vibe somehow became part of the plant's vibe.

Generally speaking, mellow, laid-back growers tended to produce mellow, laid-back herb, whereas uptight, sinister growers tended to produce uptight, sinister herb. Perhaps it was just the vibe of the grower following the product to market expressing itself along the chain of trade, I am not certain, nor do I believe any form of scientific observation will ever confirm such a debate. It has simply been one of those givens in the trade. In that regard, I have further noticed that much of the finest domestic herb I've encountered was grown by women.

I used to call it the "Great Pumpkin" effect, but perhaps it is better termed the "Ganja Goddess" effect. The most sincere herbal patches being visited upon by the subtle and ethereal spirits of benevolence. And subtle is a very key word when considering the desirable characteristics of fine quality cannabis. Subtleties have a way of being very powerful, indeed. While we are considering such aesthetic topics let's have a look at femininity. It is, after all, the female plant we are primarily concerned with.

One of the most profound aspects of the cannabis experience for me is its ability to act as a counter-balance to my personal, male-dominance syndrome.

Cannabis allows me a reprieve from the otherwise distracting male-conditioned response of attempting to dominate my environment. My conditioning of aggressive competitiveness is temporarily quelled, and I am allowed to experience reality in a much more non-linear relationship. The routine desire to compete and conquer is replaced with a sense of cooperation and community. In a word, I have learned to become a feminist.

By "feminist" I mean the protected right to be feminine, cooperative, community-centered and globally concerned, able and free to discern subtleties, intuitive and submissive without the fear of dominator conquest and control. The fine quality cannabis experience allows me to better understand, accept, and serve fate.

One of the things I have learned about "us" (the cooperators) and "them" (the dominators) is that they need us much more than we need them. This is one fact that I wish very much for our community to realize. Toward realizing that end, I have found the finest quality cannabis to be an invaluable resource.

Cannabis Culture: http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2788.html

RODELIZATION: the Soma way of female seeds

Originally from High Time July 2003 by SOMA

Creating feminized seeds is an art, there are a few different methods of application. I have written about some of my different methods of making seeds in previous HIGH TIMES articles. I have use gibberellic acid, light stress, ph stress, and fertilizer stress to force my plants to make seeds. All these methods are harsh on the plants, and some like the gibbrellic acid, are not organic. In my search for cleaner more earth-friendly ways of working with the cannabis plant, I have found a new way to make feminized seeds.

Feminized seeds occur as a result of stress, other than genetics. All cannabis plants can and will make male flowers under stress. Certain strains like a higher PH, some like a lower one. Some like a lot of food, some like a lot less. There is quite a lot of variety in marijuana genetics, and you can’t treat every plant the same way.

It takes many harvests before you really get to know a particular strain. Just like getting to know human friends, it takes time. I have grown strains for a decade and am truly getting to know every nuance the different plants exhibit. I can recognize them from a distance. I must say that I get a lot of help from my friends, both in making seeds and learning new and better ways of workingwith this sacred plant......

I named this new method “Rodelization” after a friend who helped me realize and make use of this way of creating female seeds. After growing crop after crop of the same plant in the same conditions, I noticed that if I flowered the plants 10-14 days longer than usual, they would develop male “bananas”. A male banana is a very slight male flower on a female marijuana plant that is formed because of stress. Usually they do not let out any pollen early enough to make seeds, but they sometimes do. They are a built in safety factor so in case of sever conditions, the plant can make sure thatthe species is furthered.

To me a male banana is quite a beautiful thing. It has the potential of making all female seeds. Many growers out there have male banana phobia. They see one and have heart palpitations, they want to cut down the entire crop or at least take tweezers and pluck the little yellow emerging devices out. I call them“Emergency Devices” because they emerge at times of stress.

In the Rodelization method, the male banana is very valuable. After growing
your female plant 10-14 days longer than usual, hang them up to dry, then carefully take them off the drying lines and inspect for bananas. Each and every banana should be removed and placed in a small bag labeled very accurately. These sealed bags can be placed in the fridge for one to two months and still remain potent.

For the second phase you need to already have a crop that’s already 2
½ weeks into flowering. Take your sealed bag of pollen out of the fridge,
and proceed to impregnate your new crop of females. To do this, you must first match the female plant and the pollen from the same strain in the previous crop. Shut down all the fans in the grow room. Then take a very fine paint brush, dip it in the bag of pollen, and paint it on the female flower. Do this to each different strain you have growing together. I have done it with ten different kinds in the same room with great success.

I use the lower flowers to make seeds, leaving the top colas seedless for smoking. This method takes time(two crops), but is completely organic and lets you have great quality smoke at the same time you make your female seeds. If you’re one of those growers that has never grown seeds for fear of not having somethinggood to smoke, you will love this method.

You can also use this pollen to make new female crosses by cross pollinating. The older females with the bananas can be brought into the room with the younger, un-pollinated females when they are three weeks into flowering. Turn all of the circulation fans on high, and the little bits of pollen will proceed to make it around the room. Do this for several days. Six to seven weeks later you will have ripe 100% female seeds; not nearly as many as a male plant wouldmake, but enough to start over somewhere else with the same genetics.

As a farmer who has been forced to move his genetics far away from where they started, I know very well the value of seeds. My friend Adam from THSeeds in Amsterdam has a motto that I love to borrow these days: “Drop seeds notbombs”.


History of Breeders

The Story of T.H Seeds

Having been around for more than ten years, T.H. Seeds has established itself as one of the most highly regarded seed companies in the world. It has introduced to the world numerous and now infamous cannabis varieties such as the original Bubblegum, the impressive sativa S.A.G.E. and many more. It can definitely be said that T.H. Seeds has secured its place as a leading competitor in the cannabis seed industry as they won first prize in the Indica Seed Category at the High Times Cannabis Cup for two years in a row now, for respectively The Hog (2002) and MK-Ultra (2003).

1993 was the year T.H. Seeds established its name in the world of cannabis cultivation. Right in the center of Amsterdam, it had its base at the cool hangout called C.I.A. (Cannabis in Amsterdam). The C.I.A. was not only the headquarters for T.H. Seeds but also the first outlet for Europe’s first and finest Hemp store Hempworks.

Many notorious cannabis connoisseurs were impressed by the C.I.A and it quickly became one of the most popular places to visit, meet other cannabis enthusiasts and exchange knowledge on cannabis cultivation. R.C. Clarke perfectly described it as he named it “the epicenter of the cannabis universe”.

Due to Amsterdam’s bureaucratic reasoning in 1995, the C.I.A. had to close down, but fortunately they found a great location right around the corner from where the store used to be. T.H. Seeds and Hempworks are now established on one of Amsterdam’s most famous shopping streets, the Nieuwendijk.

Impressive introductions followed like the living legend S.A.G.E. in 1995. This strain rapidly became one of the worlds most sought after sativa’s. The great flavor and the long lasting high conquered many cannabis loving hearts. The great results on growing this plant made it one of the most attractive sativa’s to grow. Over the years S.A.G.E. has been gaining more and more respect resulting in numerous awards. In the year 2000 it took first place at the High Times Cannabis Cup in the hash category. A year later it won the second prize in the Press Cup at the same Cup. In 2002 it was awarded at the High Life Cup with a second prize for seed companies and also grabbed second place in the outdoor category.

Other interesting strains from T.H. Seeds’ original collection include the flavorful Chocolate Chunk, the massive producer Heavy Duty Fruity, the resin-packed Kal-X and a knockout variety The Hog.

This year T.H. Seeds added two new varieties to its collection: Sage ‘n Sour, a killer cross between the flagship strain S.A.G.E. and the infamous Sour Diesel. A tasty Sativa with a reasonably short flowering time. The other new strain is called MK Ultra. A special cross between the legendary (super strong!) G-13 and world famous L.A. Kush, Very strong and flavorful.

One thing’s for sure and that is that T.H. Seeds has grown a lot in the past years. Its main focus has always been and always will be preserving and improving their line of top quality of seeds and meeting the demands of growers and smokers.


T.H.Seeds past Victories:
1995 Cannabis Cup: Kal-X hash laminate takes 3rd place in the hash category
1996 Cannabis Cup: Bubblegum hash micro-chip takes 3rd place in the hash category
1996 HasH Bash: Bubblegum laminated hash takes 2nd place in the hash category.
1998 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. takes 3rd highest THC level with 21% THC. This THC test included all 50 varieties entered including seed companies and coffeeshops giving The S.A.G.E. a higher THC level then any of the Cannabis Cup winners
1999 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. takes 3rd highest THC from all the varieties entered.
1999 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. water hash takes 2nd place in the Hash category.
1999 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. water hash takes 2nd highest THC level with over 46%
2000 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. water hash takes 1st place in the hash category
2001 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. takes 2nd place for best overall weed in the Press Cup, voted by the international press.
2001 Cannabis Cup: S.A.G.E. rated highest Sativa by High Times writer Kyle Kushman.
2002 Cannabis Cup : The HOG, takes first place in the seed company Indica Cup
2003 Cannabis Cup : MK Ultra, takes first place in the seed company Indica Cup

The Story of Serious Seeds

The breeder behind Serious Seeds, Simon, is responsible for the material sold by the seed bank. He studied biology at one of the universities in Amsterdam and was always a non smoker. (Tabacco, and therefore also marihuana because in Holland it is common practice to mix the latter with tabacco and roll a joint.) He only discovered the merits of smoking pure marihuana after his study while travelling through Africa in 1986. Today he remains one of the few dutch who smoke this wonderplant in its pure form as one should. From that moment on he started collecting seeds. Back in Holland he immediately started growing those seeds out for personal pleasure crossing what he thought were the best plants seemed a natural follow up. Contacts with other growers gave him access to different plants from which he also selected the best ones. The genetic background of this material was not always clear.

Simon taught biology at a highschool when Alan Dronkers asked him to come and work at Sensi Seeds. It was quite a carreer change to do that but he never felt sorry about it. After some time working for Sensi he left and started a seed company with some American pot refugees. That year (1994) the AK-47 as well as the Chronoc won prices at the American Cannabis Cup festival in Amsterdam. That first seed company with the Americanshowever fell apart soon, and in 1995 Serious Seeds was grounded. It has always been a Serious policy to have the products grown from the different seeds available to trie out in some of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The 'Greenhouse' is one of those coffeeshops which carries Serious' products to smoke from the start in 1995 to this date. Greenhouse coffeeshop won a Cannabis Cup in 1995 with the Kalimist grown by Serious Seeds. In 1996 another famous Amsterdam coffeeshop the 'Dampkring' won the Overall Cup at that years Cannabis Cup with the newest Serious strain White Russian. Another serious shop from the early days is the 'Blue Bird' and recently also the 'Dread Rock', they really sell what is listed instead of anything under an often asked for name.

Serious has always been a small company, and prefers to stay like that. We love to smoke ourselves and basically trie to develop new and interesting plants to grow and smoke for our own pleasure as well as for our clients.

This means we don't work to produce some- thing new every year for commercial reasons or to compete in the next contest. We want to put a new name out when we think we have something worth while for pot growers and smokers to trie out.

F1 hybrid - first generation offspring of 2 (usually different and unrelated) parents
Germination - the sprouting of a seed, the tip of the root appears first
Indica - referring to type of plant which looks short, bushy, leafy with broad leafs, grows a dense, compact bud in a shorter flowering time than another type of plant; Sativa
Medicinal plant - plant seemingly useful for certain groups of patients (usually with high concentration of THC, possibly combined with other cannabinoids)
Sativa – type of plant which looks tall, slender, with open in stead of dense buds, long flower times, but with usually better smoking effect than other type of plant; indica
Strain – a line of plants from common ancestors with certain characteristics
THC – short for the molecule responsible for the High effect in Cannabis

Plant of the Year 2003: Serious Seeds 'AK47'
It seems strange to choose as ‘PLANT OF THE YEAR’ a plant, which has been around for almost ten years. The prestigious ‘High Times’ magazine made the decision And was published in the December issue. What was the reason for this?

The original article was written by Jorge Cervantas, the author of ‘Indoor Marihuana Horticulture’ and a regular co-writer for the American magazine. He told me that he wasn’t part of the group who came to this decision but merely got the order to write the story. Since he doesn’t live in the US any more he is not aware of all the things going on at the office. When contacting the SERIOUS SEEDS office I didn’t get much wiser. It was a surprise to them also. Although they stated that it was a well-earned price for a plant, which, notwithstanding the fact that it won more awards than any other plant known, still was never trumpeted about much.

Could that be it? Surely the AK-47 is a well-known name in the cannabis scene since Serious Seeds coined it in 1995. But when scanning through old magazines I have to admit that little attention was given to it in articles. The fact that it is well known amongst growers is mostly from own experience and from their opinions given in chat rooms on the Internet. But when you look at a well-known name like ‘White Widow’ another plant thrown into the world by Dutch breeders at about the same time as the ‘AK-47’ the latter seems under snowed by the first. For years the name ‘White Widow’ was heard everywhere. But now, almost ten years later it seems that the AK-47 has been gaining popularity over the years and was slowly but surely growing out to be such an acknowledged and reliable champion that there was enough reason to have it chosen as plant of the year 2004. The popularity of this plant is not due to some successful and carefully planned campaign. No, it came from what matters; from the experience of growers everywhere buying the seeds and liking the results they got from them. They made the plant popular and if this is the reason for the ‘Plant of the year’ choice than it is indeed a rightful one.

An ongoing phenomenon with popular seed names, which has been seen for years, is that other Companies like to use those names. They start selling seeds under either the same or almost the same name as the original. People who don’t know the name of the companies who produced the original seed names are an easy victim when they ask for this name and get a cheap imitation in stead. At this moment for example is the ‘Nirvana’seed company doing exactly that. They sell a seed with the name of ‘AK-48’, how original can you be? But that’s not all. When you compare the description of this strain at their website with that of ‘AK-47’ by Serious Seeds it is impossible to see a difference. They copied it till the last letter, won awards and all!! This is not only parasiting on the popularity of reputable seed companies, it is cheating and robbing people who are not aware of what is going on. Practices like this are the cause of bad raps in the cannabis scene. Although ‘Nirvana’ is not the only seed producer making money like this, they seem to be the leading company when it comes to parasiting on popular names.

Facts of AK-47:

The name does not refer to any violent idea but was chosen because it is a ‘one hit wonder’
At least 7 awards were gathered over the years in different weed festivals
With 20% THC the strongest entry at the Amsterdam’ Cannabis Cup of 1999 (2nd place)
The name AK-47 is sometimes also used by other seed companies than Serious Seeds, this is a common thing when certain names become popular (BEWARE!)
The original packaging comes in an airtight tube containing 15 seeds attached to a card with a picture of the strain on the front and a serial number, which must be kept in case problems do occur
Please look for the original packaging when you buy Serious Seeds strains or you know they are copies.

The Story of Magus Genetics

Not everybody succeeds in finding his destination at first go. Many people pass through several jobs before finally discovering – often by chance – that special thing that they like the most and want to do forever. This often applies to people who are active in the field of hemp business, here lateral hires are more rule than exception. There is no special “hemp apprenticeship” that would directly pave the way into the branch, so many people have a different approach, making use of something that they`ve learnt in their former jobs or by self-made education.

Gerrit exactly is that kind of “patchwork guy”. The list of jobs he went through before falling for hemp is long and manifold. Gerrit reports: “I had a shipload of different jobs, varying from working in the flower bulb industry, to being an electrician, maintenance engineer, industrial paint sprayer, grease monkey (car repair moonlighter), steel caster, and bartender/porter, just to name a few.” But he openly admits that he “did not like working for a boss”, “I'm not very good with authorities”, as he puts it. Discovering the drug cannabis should not only lead to the end of his job odyssey, but also serve as an act of deliverance to him: Gerrit managed to turn away from alcohol. While not having been a typical alcoholic, he used to drink a lot quite often, afterwards turning aggressive and erratic. At the early age of eleven already, Gerrit had smoked cannabis for the first time, but not noticed anything else than nausea. It wasn`t until he became 17 or 18 that he tried it again, however, always in the state of drunkenness so that cannabis would have a sedative, sleepy effect on him every time. Sometimes later, when he had decided to stop boozing, he sensed that “cannabis could do a lot more than just putting me asleep”. Amongst other things, helping him to become laidback and peaceable, ceasing his “jumpy neurotic behaviour”, but most important of it all: It supported him in keeping his hands away from alcohol. Hence it`s no surprise that Gerrit says: “Cannabis has enriched my life”.

And that not only mentally. Because with his small, but fine seed collection, Gerrit has been very successful for years already, in addition, he opened a hemp shop in Enkhuizen/NL in Juli 2002 („Magus Genetics Hemp Store“) which also gains much resonance. But one thing after another. Because the way in which Gerrit attained his seed strains, and how he happened to open a seed bank, is very uncommon. At the beginning of the 90ies, he started home growing, choosing an outdoor location. He used Afghani and Skunk bag seeds that he had selected out of coffeeshop weed in 1989. Because he was not familiar with female and male cannabis flowers, he did not realize that the Afghani plants were male and pollinated a female skunk, resulting in a lot of F1 seeds. In the following winter, Gerrit also practised indoor cultivation, mainly making use of clones that he had bought from a friend. But he also took some seedlings and clones of his own material, both his self-F1 hybrid Skunk/Afghani and once again the supposedly pure, but commercial Skunk bag seeds. He noticed that his own F1 hybrids of Skunk/Afghani clearly were more vigorous than the pure Skunk plants, but could not match them in terms of smell and taste. Because his Skunk seed supply was exhausted, Gerrit decided to hybridize his last female Skunk specimens (he had taken several cuttings of the best plant), with the pollen of some male Skunk/Afghani F1s. The resulting generation proved to be very vigorous and even superior to the Skunk mother in terms of aroma and potency, but did not yield as much as the bought cuttings so that Gerrit kept buying them and only grew a few of his own pedigree in the shaded corners of the room. Until spring 2003, he left it with that, but then suddenly his friend got into troubles and Gerrit was forced to fill out the whole cultivation space with his own hybrids. Thanks to this accident, he realised that the reason why his own hybrids had always yielded lower than the bought cuttings simply was that they had to stand in the shade, far away from the light source. From now on, they received optimum light intensities, what made them yield very well, too, and Gerrit made up his mind to exclusively grow his own genetic material in the future, instead of “being dependent on other people”.

But he also had another incentive to grow his own: Meanwhile he had gotten into contact with the “Bluebird”, one of Amsterdam`s most popular coffeeshops, and the Bluebird guys sold Gerrit`s own creation under the name “Warlock”, enthusing a steadily increasing circle of customers that cried for more. And they should get more – Gerrit managed to further improve his hybrid`s yield, by optimizing the growing factors. He did not continue the breeding process and kept on reproducing one single superb mother plant by taking cutting from cutting over years. However, in 1997 he got worried about the germination power of his original hybrid seeds which were several years old now. He also was afraid that in case of being busted or stolen, his mother plants would disappear forever. So Gerrit decided to make a cut in production and put the whole matter on a more professional basis. He also felt inspired by the fact that the Bluebird had taken 3rd place in the bio category of the High Times Cannabis Cup 1997 with his “Warlock”. He sowed all original seeds that were left, still obtaining a good germination rate. Simultaneously he started reading a lot of botanical and breeding literature, what made him realise that he would need far more growing space in order to get the best out of the genetic potential of his hybrid. So he hired a larger grow room, at the same time letting his seed operation be regularly registered at the local chamber of commerce from January 1998. Between 1997 and 1998, Gerrit worked with 50 different breeding lines that he had created out of 25 female individuals and 2 different males. He made sure to have numerous safety copies of the respective parents and selected the best line for creating Warlock as commercially available seed strain for the first time, introducing it to the market at the High Times Cannabis Cup 1998 with great response.

Warlock – this strain proved to be a true lucky punch. It is especially remarkable that a breeder has created something outstanding and unique out of completely regular and commercial strains like Afghani and Skunk. In the following years, Gerrit experimented within the original gene pool what resulted in a new father plant for Warlock. This specimen was also used to create new varieties like Exile (x White Widow/Northern Lights), Starwarz (x Sensi Star), and Double Dutch (x pre-2000 Chronic), while Starwarz is only available as weed at the “Bluebird”, not as seed strain. Gerrit himself prefers Warlock, when it comes to the quality of the high, but recommends the Double Dutch for optimum yields. He says that the 1999 ban on seed production in Holland actually was irrelevant to him, because he used to work in the underground likewise before and after that. He had already decided to move to a slightly smaller grow room at the end of 1998, since the rent had proved to too high for him, as he had not yet started the professional sale of seeds. But also now, he has an adequate facility for ensuring both further development and maintenance of his strains. Double Dutch also became most popular within short, and Gerrit`s latest hit, the outdoor strain “Biddy Early” (Early Pearl/Skunk x Warlock, “but there is way too much Early Pearl influence to call it an outdoor Warlock”, as Gerrit says), surprised everybody at the High Times Cup 2003 by taking second place in the sativa category, beating numerous indoor strains! Gerrit is also working on other breeding projects, such as Sensi Star x Warlock, and an exotic sativa strain called “Zamal”. He believes that the seed market will keep on increasing in the future, but also, that the price dumping, as practised by certain competitors, will get even worse. Gerrit for his part wants to keep his reasonable prices (50-70 Euros for 10 seeds are a fair offer).

He grows his plants on a regular peat-moss/perlite medium, pH 5.8 and EC 0.8 in the beginning. For plants that reach a height of up to 60 cm in the course of their life cycle, he uses 7.5 litre pots, which is sufficient for most of his experimental plants. Night and day temperatures usually amount to 15 resp. 25°C, at an air humidity of approx. 70% during vegetative growth, and about 50% in the flowering stage. For producing seeds for sale, Gerrit uses two male/female plant pairs (identical copies) at different locations, out of safety reasons.

In the summer of 2002, he opened his “Magus Genetics Hemp Store“ in Enkhuizen, offering almost every availabe hemp product to his customers. Gerrit had the special goal to create an appealing shop ambience, because he “wanted to to break up all that common associations concerning hemp like illegality and ominousness, and to appeal also to non-cannabis smokers, with a nice looking and inviting shop”. And he succeeded in this goal, according to Gerrit, many people come to his shop who are curious about the manifold ways of hemp application and respective products, like textiles, cosmetics, healthy foods or hemp paper. The drug aspects are also frequently discussed thereby, and Gerrit feels happy then about being in a position to give competent advice and education. It was especially important to Gerrit to expand his business in terms of communication and customer contact. But his wife Corinna, his right hand in the company, of course plays the most important role in his life: “She`s the only thing in life that has a greater influence on me than cannabis”, he reveals – what a nice end to this story.

The Story of The Flying Dutchman

One of the few people in the world with a Cannabis history of more than 30 years decided to share his experience and knowledge about breeding the highest quality Cannabis seed varieties.

Thousands and thousands of people must have grown his seeds without knowing they were his, as a wholesaler he provided many seed retailers with his seeds.

Now he has given a new dimension to his life of working with Cannabis by opening the Cannabis College Foundation Amsterdam and his first Flying Dutchmen Seed shop.

During the sixties in Holland, all that was available was hashish, and low grade imported grass. During the early seventies, a small number of Dutch enthusiasts started to grow two Dutch strains, known as ‘The Purple’ and ‘The Green Lemon’ types. These were very large plants with small buds and a very average taste and high. In fact during the Second World War this grass was used as a substitute for tobacco.

Eventually a few seeds made it over from Afghanistan so the Dutch started to work with this new variety.

Suddenly this weird character showed up on the scene from America trying to introduce the Dutch enthusiasts to some new varieties of seeds.

He brought over pure true breeding strains like Early California, Thai, Mexican and Silver Haze from Columbia, Afghan and South African seeds. Most importantly he brought over a few crosses that he had already made himself, including the very first Skunk Number One which is a Columbian, Mexican, Afghan cross. This earnt him his present nickname THE SKUNK MAN.

Eddy who worked directly with The Skunk Man was one of the three major players of that time with an interest in superior plants.

The base genetics for almost all the grass that you see in Holland today originates from these three guys work. They were all a little sceptical of The Skunk Man’s bigger and better American ways but Eddy decided to grow out his seeds in greenhouses, using crude methods to simulate day and night cycles and gauge the results for themselves.

In 1984 the first crop was grown out and the results were outstanding, higher yield and better quality, Eddy never looked back.

In order to find ideal genetics (both the male and female) plants were being grown out of seeds, tens of thousands at a time in a green house and the top 50 were selected, then crossed again and grown out thousands at a time, always trying to isolate the best.

Once you have found the best breeding stock by allowing all plants to fully mature (flower).

How do you hold that plant back for future breeding genetics?

There were talks that in America a couple of people had experimented with the concept of cloning.

Eddy chose some mature female flower cuttings and left them under florescent lights in someone’s attic in the hope that they just might take. After 18 weeks only 20% survived, but it was not until a further 6 months had passed that one of the plants ‘sprouted one little leaf’ probably the first successful cloning of flowered cannabis ever.

The moment that little leaf shoot appeared cannabis history changed forever.

Paradise Seeds - How it all began…

After 12 years of growing, testing and experimenting with many different varieties, Paradise Seeds was founded in 1994. About 17 years ago in Amsterdam, many coffeeshops started to sell imported hash from India Afghanistan or Morocco and weed from Thailand, Columbia, Mexico or Malawi. Most of this was of poor quality. But things were changing, new types were introduced from the U.S that were early crossbreeds of already higher quality. Since then we got involved in the early research for better quality strains. This took place in Amsterdam and at several outdoor locations in Holland. Our aim was to create better weed, with a sweet/spicy taste and stronger high, for our own use.

This resulted in several new varieties and the seeds were given to a number of people to grow. Due to early pioneers such as ourselves, Dutch cannabis became the best in the world and growing got evermore popular. Also many foreign people realised Dutch cannabis was of the highest quality. They took seeds home, to grow for personal use. At that time our seeds found their way to the people at a local coffeeshop in Amsterdam.

The demand increased and what started as research and experiments for personal knowledge and dedication to the Ganja bush, had become ‘Paradise Seeds’, a reputable seed bank, for growers that demand only genuine and finest quality seeds.

In 1999 we won the first prize with our famous variety Sensi Star in the Highlife Cup, the biggest, objective contest in Holland, for coffeeshops, growshops and seedbanks. Again in 1999 we won first prize in the Hightimes Cannabis Cup with Sensi Star, and got fourth with Nebula! In 2000 we won second prize with Sensti Star again at the Hightimes Cannabis Cup.

Paradise seeds maintains strict selection criteria on characteristics such as potency and taste. This results in the creation of powerful strains, that will satisfy everyone who wants to enjoy the sweetest fruits of the Dutch garden of Eden. Our seeds are grown organically and tested regularly on viability. We are dealing with living material, therefore we can not guarantee that all seeds will germinate. One packet contains 10 seeds, and comes with basic information on growing, flowering and harvesting.

Be aware there are several imitations on the market. Feel free to contact us for information where to purchase the original Paradise Seeds. Give us a call while having a spaced out visit to Amsterdam, if you want to take some seeds home!

Due to the excellent quality of our seeds and our dedication to the ganja bush, you can soon proudly present your friends with a master smoke!

Paradise Seeds

The Story of Soma

Soma is a 55 year old Rastafarian who is spiritually dedicated to the Sacred cannabis plant. He has been working with the plant for 37 years. He wears pants and shirts made out of it, smokes it constantly,he has a prescription for 10 grams a day, and studies every aspect of the marijuana phenomenon.

He feels that it is one of the tools that can save humanity from it's direction of self destruction. He knows that it helps healing take place whenever and wherever it is used. Unlike aspirin, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and nuclear radiation, cannabis has never killed anyone. It is one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man. Humankind has been using it since time immemorial.

It is one of the best paper sources in the whole wide world, it can be recycled 7 times, takes one fifth of the pollution to manufacture than tree paper, and could be a totally renewable source of Bio-fuel. Hempseed is one of the best sources of vegetable protein available on planet earth and 55% of a mature cannabis plant is seeds.

The only problem is the art of cannabis has been recently lost to mankind, it has been lied about, it has been suppressed, it has come close to genocide and the fear factor for this safest of substances has been blown totally out of proportion. Soma Seeds plans on changing the direction a few things are going these days. First of all Soma Seeds is an earth friendly business striving to think of earth first in the business that we create. We grow our seeds biologically, we let our hearts guide us with the plants, not calendars, not money, not power trips, but a sacredness, a vibration of mutual trust, an exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, a friendship. Soma Seeds focus's on the medicinal side of cannabis,constantly striving to find better and better geneticis to be used in a medicinal way.

Medicinal cannabis has to be grown in a manner where the end product is truly going to make the patient feel better, not full of pesticides, poisons, and money vibes. Our seeds are tested constantly for their germination quality. We have a line of 100% female seeds as well as male and female seeds. Our male and female seeds are usually about 30% male 70% female.
We have 20 different types of seeds available.

The Story of Nirvana

Cannabis seeds history of Nirvana goes way back to the end of the 1980's. At that time Nirvana's founder was working at Amsterdam's most famous grow-shop, the legendary "Positronics", and it was the knowledge and inspiration that he received there that moved him to think about starting his own cannabis seeds company. Years were spent traveling, seeking out and collecting marijuana seeds from the finest strains. And more years went in experimentation, growing, cross breeding and developing the new cannabis strains from among which Nirvana selected the best to become their range of high quality hybrid marijuana seeds. After applying and expanding his experience in a number of Amsterdam's best known grow-shops it came time to offer the expertise he had gained, and the high quality products he had developed, to the world. The result of this initiative was the foundation of Nirvana in 1995. Originally a cannabis seed specialist, Nirvana is now an innovative business concept. It has developed into a shop with a unique and original range of self-developed hemp products that extend the uses of this extraordinary plant further than ever before.
While constantly improving and extending its range of high quality cannabis seeds, Nirvana has also developed a range of hemp products that are unique. As the new millennium starts, alongside Nirvana's own Home-brew Hemp Wine and Hemp Beer, there is a choice of original products such as Hemp Vinegar, Hemp Ice Tea and Eva's Paradijs, Hemp Liqueur.

In the heart of the picturesque Pijp, the Nirvana B.V. Headquarter lives up to its name; adding colour and serenity to the surrounding streets. Inside, Among the holy images and smart shop products, the vibe is mellow and the staff are always pleased to offer advice, suggestions or just hang out. Please feel free to pay us a visit. We will always make you feel welcome.

Sagarmatha Seeds

Sagarmatha Seeds wishes to thank all of her satisfied customers for proliferation of our product and reputation across the globe. A worldwide genetic pool was placed in our care to provide marijuana smokers and growers with fresh, original varieties of marijuana.

After more than 10 years of service we have emerged as a creditable source of connoisseur quality cannabis seeds. Together with your feedback and interest we will continue to provide a variety of delectable treats for the many marijuana farmers of the world. These "magic beans" have given Sagarmatha and friends many hours of enjoyment and entertainment. Every stage of development, from planning, planting to finally providing, has been a tremendous pleasure.

Almost every experience will have peaks and valleys over time - every farmer has their share. We believe Sagarmatha's peaks will give our customers the highest cerebral views and physical sensations possible with marijuana.

Please enjoy our catalogue with a friend. We hope you will be able to partake in some of our potent products. Perhaps with your participation and our plants we can help create some peace for our planet.

BOG's interpretation of..... My History as Pertaining to Pot


Back in about 1970 we were 16 and trying to grow bagseed outside with little success but we did have some plants and we did smoke some immature weed. I was married at 18 and by age 19 I had my own farm where I grew outdoors. I became successful to a point but genetics were not easily available and I had to do the best I had with what I had. You never really knew what you had but you thought it tasted like what might have been called this or that.

It wasnt at all scientific but i read hightimes and I learned about sinse early on so my plants were good pot if they would finish and I developed my own strains. Another friend of mine also had a fine strain we called Blanchard Weed and it rivaled my best now in heavy resins. I had created my own feminized line i called "RED" and it yielded more than his and tasted great but it wasnt as potent. Eventually I mixed his with mine and grew this cross, mine more sativaish and his was indica. Eventually the strain became hermaphroditic due to many generations of inbreeding.

I was online in early '99 and this is when I got access to Seedsdirect and Gypsy. He sent me many genetics and many growers at OG sent me seeds to work with. Getting lucky with a few good strains I made f2 seeds and selected clones. Years of selection led to a very fine bubblegum called Bogbubble and that was crossed later to a NL5 to make Bogglegum. When Lifesaver came out people saw that I was 3 for 3 and they couldn't understand how a small grower did it?

Gypsy still calls me the "Enigma" which means mystery and I prefer to maintain some of the mystery as part of my BOG myth. You know about me living in a cave and great grand daddy being an alien. I am not a myth however and those who have judged me by the fruits of my labors no longer question how I do my work. Now Sour Bubble is going to stun the breeding world. Just mark my words.