I’ve got a question, maybe you can help me. I think my original position on this topic, as stated below, has since reversed. There seems to be some debate amongst folks regarding which sex carries the hermaphrodite traits (“herm” for short). I’ve heard that only females can pass it on, and others say it can be passed on from a male. It stands to reason the trait can be passed by either parent, but I’m wondering if there’s some hard science on this as it’s not readily available in my searches this far
To the best of my knowledge, cannabis hermaphrodites are genetic females, by definition (two X chromosomes). We at Delta Leaf have never seen nor heard of a genetically confirmed Male plant that ended up developing female flowers. Does this mean the hermaphroditic trait – or the genetic tendency for an individual plant to develop both male & female flowers – can only be passed on by the mother?
Male flowers tend to develop quickly, so, often it can be easy to mistake a herm for a true male just because it grew pollen sacs before buds. However, in our experience, 100% of the time that plant is genetically female (two X-chromosomes).
So, let’s say I’ve got a male plant I want to breed with, so I go ahead and cross it with 6 females, each from a different cultivar than the other. Progeny testing reveals most of the seeds from female #1 become vigorously hermaphroditic. Should I then still test the progeny from the other 5 females before ditching them (male carries the trait), or is the trait materially inherited and therefore the other 5 crosses should be stability tested independently?
What’s your experience dealing with situations like this? Please post a comment at the bottom of the article with what you think.
Why Do Some Plants Herm But Not Others?
The following is a question about the likelihood that females in a population are going to become a herm:
“Obviously testing large batches of progeny is time consuming and costs money. I typically breed one male with multiple females but in my recent batch the first ones I tested were herm mostly. So I’m wondering if it’s worth the time and money to keep testing progeny from the other females or if it’s the male that might be the culprit. The parent females were solid under stress testing I meant
Not an individual plant. Hmmm. Interesting. That’s harder to answer because we don’t know the genetic influence of WHY one female will become a herm while a sibling doesn’t. It could be something about the growth characteristics of the male that when blended with a certain female pheno it becomes “unstable” aka not able to withstand much environmental stress = lots of herms.
Doesn’t necessarily mean it always goes with one or the other because the growth traits leading to stability probably aren’t on the sex chromosomes
High gibberellic acid can reportedly produce herms, so one theory is that metabolic stress can activate that pathway. But the accumulation of those stresses and susceptibility to them can be determined by a long list of genes working in combination (most of which probably have anything to do with XY chromosomes). So my guess is that stability probably isn’t a sex linked trait, but without knowing the full combo of factors contributing it’s impossible to nail down.”
What’s your experience dealing with situations like this? Please post a comment at the bottom of the article telling us your story.