The choice of whether to grow autoflower, feminized or regular seed comes down to cultivation experience and space restrictions. Some growers prefer the natural, sex-determining process of regular seeds.
As nature intended, regular seed has a 50% chance of growing into male or female plants. This allows breeders to create new cultivars by crossing specimens that produce desirable characteristics such as terpenes, flavour profile and colour.
In animal husbandry and horticulture, breeding is the process of selecting individuals for desirable traits. This is done to produce a superior breed of livestock or plant. Modern plant breeders use genetic concepts to enhance desirable characteristics of plants, including the introduction of disease resistance genes into new backgrounds. Chemical mutagens such as ethyl methanesulfonate and dimethyl sulfonate, radiation, and transposons are also used in plant breeding for mutagenesis, which is the creation of mutants with desirable traits. Classical plant breeders cross-pollinate individual cultivars to introduce desirable traits into a new background, such as mildew resistance in a high-yield pea.
Growers who want to produce their own seeds need to identify and separate male and female plants before their flowers open, releasing pollen into the room. Once the flowers are fertilised, they start to form seeds. A nutrient schedule that increases nitrogen to encourage seed formation can help. Seeds are usually ready for germination in about three weeks after fertilization.
Clones are a great way to quickly grow a mature flowering plant. They also offer the guarantee that your crop will be consistent in terms of flavour profile, overall phenotype and growth characteristics.
Cloning involves taking a small section of a parent plant and growing it to maturity with water, nutrient solution or other mediums. Clones have a much shorter flowering period than seeds because they are biologically mature and have a head start on root development.
However, clones can carry genetic flaws from their mother plants that may manifest themselves as problems in your grow room. They can also transmit diseases and pests to other plants in the same grow space. Seeds, on the other hand, are sterile and are more likely to be free of such issues. Additionally, plants grown from seeds develop a deeper tap-root that can better reach water and nutrients in the ground or soil. This makes seeds a better option for novice growers.
Genetic stability is one of the main safety assessments required by regulators for genetically engineered plants. Stability of transgenes, inserted through cloning and other methods, is assessed at both the DNA and mRNA level to ensure that they are functioning correctly and producing the desired phenotypes.
However, this process is not without its challenges. For example, the introduction of foreign genes into a plant species requires that the cell population of that species is capable of performing the necessary biological processes — including germination, meiosis, pollination, fertilization, and embryo development — to propagate asexually (Azhakanandam et al. 2000).
As a result, the cell population must be subjected to frequent molecular screening for mutations that could impact stability. This process is similar to that used in characterization of pharmaceuticals, ensuring that the drug is safe to use.
There is so much cannabis cultivation jargon out there that can confuse beginner growers. With so many options ranging from autoflowering to feminized seeds, it can feel overwhelming.
Regular seed is a good choice for novice and experienced growers alike. Growing a pure female plant is not easy and requires a lot of effort in order to ensure that every single seed grows into a female. This is where regular seed comes in, as it makes it easier for growers to keep male plants from their harvest.
The male plants can then be used as pollen for future seedlings. This allows for a greater variety of genetics to be experimented with. Having male plants can also be beneficial when searching for new phenotypes, as they can be used to produce new strains and create hybrids. It can also save a lot of time and effort when weeding out male plants as they won’t have to remove 40% of their plants after sexing them.