F1, F2, S1 – What do They Mean for Your Weed?
Once someone has become a master grower, they can then work towards being a master breeder. While growers are simply taking seeds and growing them into beautiful plants, they are growing something that nature, or someone else, has actually created. However, when one becomes a breeder, they get to truly play god by breeding different strains together, making seeds, and even making their very own strain. In order to do so, one has to first have a good grasp on things science, genetics, and how cannabis plants work to make seeds, to make bud, and how different plants work together.
The terms “F1” “F2” and “S1” are some of the first that beginner breeders will come across. They refer to outbreeding, or producing hybrid seeds, which is the practice of cross-breeding two plants that originally have completely different genetics. In order to do so, two stable parents must be chosen so the pollen from the male can be used to fertilize the female.
This will result in the hybrid seeds the breeders are after, and they’re known as “F1” seeds, or first generation seeds. F1 seeds will be the most stable of any seeds that follow it in future generations, and those generations will be known as “F2” seeds, “F3” seeds, and so forth as more seeds are made. However, F1 seeds are the most sought after by breeders because they grow about 25 percent faster, and they grow larger and with more vigor that subsequent generations.
In addition to F1 and F2 seeds, there are also S1 seeds. The “S” in this case refers to “self” or “selfed”, meaning that these seeds will be selfed-generation. They do not need a male plant for pollen but rather, the female plant is reversed so that pollen can be collected. The pollen will then be used to pollinate the mother plant or a clone of the mother to get S1 seeds. Males can be selfed as well, but in both cases it’s a complex process that requires great focus from even the most experienced breeders.
Breeding can be even more exciting than growing because it’s a chance to really make your own strain and create something that will highlight your preferences. Breeding can be a complicated matter, however. Start by understanding some of the basic terminology, and what’s needed to create a stable strain, and you’ll be well on your way to your own.
RQS Pro Releases Exclusive First Range of F1 Hybrid Cannabis Seeds
EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands , Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — RQS Pro’s internal cannabis F1 hybrid breeding program results in the first of several F1 hybrids. The B2B division of the Royal Queen Seeds brand believes that F1 hybrid seeds are the future of cannabis growing thanks to their higher yield, high crop uniformity, greater efficiency, improved land use and superior economic scaling.
With the dynamic growth of the legal cannabis market, the industry needs a sustainable product range to keep up with the rising demand. In the USA alone, the industry is expected to reach $40B by 2026, up from an estimated $12B last year. To meet this milestone requires professional agronomic management, quality starting materials and an in-depth understanding of cannabis genomics.
Fortunately, the concept and benefits of F1 hybrids are already present in many row and vegetable crops. A prime example is the introduction of F1 hybrid corn ninety years ago, which has resulted in a yield increase over time of 500%. RQS Pro’s breeding program aims to integrate the same proven breeding technologies (F1 hybrid breeding, marker-assisted breeding and polyploidy) to improve cannabis viability significantly.
Maikel de Bresser, the Global Head of R&D for RQS Pro, explains just how impactful their new F1 hybrids can be. "Alongside our Green Horizon Alliance partners, we have already executed standardised trials comparing classic cannabis seed varieties with their F1 hybrid counterparts. The results are impressive, with many tests showing up to double the yield per square metre and higher levels of crop uniformity. The effect on our customers will be more efficient crop management and better ability to predetermine final yields."
The first F1 hybrid range will launch in the US state of California first, with seeds expected in Q1 of 2022. RQS Pro will continue building a pipeline of both THC and CBD crops, with their exclusive range of F1 hybrid seeds addressing the needs of both the professional and home grower market.
Royal Queen Seeds is an award-winning, European-based cannabis breeder and seed bank with an established offline and online presence.