Cannabis Breeding: Seed vs Clone vs Tissue

Cannabis Breeding: Seed vs Clone vs Tissue

This is the second in a series of articles from Dr Gary Yates of Pharmaseeds.Dr Gary has a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Genetics and wrote his PhD on post-translational modifications in plant stress and was published in several high-profile peer-reviewed journals. After working on photosynthesis in a Post-doctoral role, he joined PharmaSeeds’ senior team ready to apply his academic experience, knowledge and skills to the opportunities and challenges facing the medical cannabis industry.Dr Gary is focused on how plant genetics relate to the unique biological and medicinal properties of this extraordinary plant.In this article, Dr Gary explores the differences in growing cannabis via seed vs breeding using a clone Much has been written about the advantages and disadvantages of using different genetic starting materials to start a grow. Whether it is the seed, cloned cut, tissue culture-derived or otherwise, it stands to reason there are pros and cons to all options in cannabis breeding. Currently, there are four options for germplasm selection: Seed, Clone from seeded mother, Tissue culture plantlet, or clone from tissue culture-derived mother. See the table below for the differences. Seed – Sexual Propagation You have the highest possibility of genetic uniqueness with seed – even within a specified lot. This is since each seed produced is a result of individual pollen and ovule combing their DNA and creating a unique embryo, hence why it is called sexual propagation. Cannabis is a highly adaptive species and, as such, is more likely to mutate and adapt; due to this, stable and uniform cannabis seed lots are not easy to achieve, but there are also ways to reduce the genetic variation further by inbreeding, selfing and backcrossing. Driving the genetics this way will often lessen the vigour over time, and a trade-off between uniformity and vigour will undoubtedly manifest at some…

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