cannabis genotypes and phenotypes
cannabis genotypes and phenotypes

What are Marijuana Phenotypes and Genotypes?

What are the different cannabis phenotypes and genotypes?

Posted by:
The Undercover Stoner on Saturday Aug 22, 2020

What are Marijuana Phenotypes and Genotypes?

marijuana genotypes

When it comes to the world of cannabis cultivation, the right knowledge is very important. This will be a very big determinant in the success of the cultivation process. This is why in this article, we will be looking into two words that have commonly been misused and interchanged for each other among many cannabis growers.

Phenotype and genotype are two common words used in the world of biology because they do a great deal in explaining the makeup of every organism. They are also very important in the world of cannabis cultivation as they provide a detailed insight into the intricate nature and makeup of cannabis plants.

The need for the differentiation between phenotypes and genotypes is because of the variations and observations noted by cannabis growers in cannabis plants and it is very important that the wrong notion isn't allowed to fly around. The said observation is that cannabis plants that are grown from the same seeds seem to have physical differences which then begs the question of whether the phenotype or genotype is the root cause of these differences. The differences range from cannabis plant height, taste, smell, flavor, and even effects.

A closer look at Genotype and Phenotype

To fully understand the phenomenon, we will start by looking carefully into what genotype entails. In simple terms, genotype refers to the genetic makeup or genetic information that characterizes the traits that are observed in living organisms. The genetic information determines the appearance, growth, scent, flavor that can be seen in the cannabis plant. It is however necessary to point out that the genotype of a cannabis plant doesn’t state with certainty the characteristics that will be seen in the cannabis plant, instead it offers a range of possibilities.

A very important determinant in the form with which the information coded in the genetics of a cannabis plant expresses itself is the environment. We cannot talk about the genotype of a cannabis plant and the role it plays with the final results seen in the cannabis plant without talking about the environment. The factors of the environment play a huge role in determining which of the parts of the genotype get to be activated and expressed in the cannabis plant. As said earlier, the genotype doesn’t determine what finally gets expressed, it only contains a range of possible traits that can be expressed. It is the interactions with the environment that accounts for the characters to be seen. 

The final product of the genetic information and the environment and the interaction between the genotype and the environment is what is called the phenotype. The phenotype is the physical result after the different factors in the environment trigger and activates some of the genetic information embedded in the genetic makeup of the cannabis plants. For every cannabis grower, the importance of the different factors and conditions that must be maintained in the growing area are well known as these play a huge role in the success of the cultivation process. These factors too are to be thanked to a large extent for the uniqueness that is seen among some plants of the same strain.

The effect of this can be seen when you consider seeds from the same cannabis strain being grown indoors and outdoors. The effects of the temperature, light, humidity, and other factors will play a very huge role in the physical characteristics of the plant as the outdoor plants can be seen to have plants with richer purple colors in comparison to the cannabis plants that are grown indoors.


Why do plants grown in the same environment have differences?

Now the explanation regarding the phenotype and genotype gives a good basis for the reason why seeds from the same cannabis plants can express themselves differently based on the environment they are exposed to. There still remains another observation that is very common among different cannabis growers which is that seeds of cannabis plants that are grown under the same conditions can also have different phenotypes. This observation begs the question as to what else plays a role in influencing the physical outcome of the cannabis plant.

The common misassumption that occurs here is that many believe the reason for these variations in cannabis plants that are grown under the same conditions is because of their phenotype. This is why it was necessary for us to first establish that the environment expresses the phenotype from the genotype and not the other way around. The question however still remains as to what the root cause of this difference is and the answer lies in the genotype.

Many cannabis growers expect that the genotype of the seeds of cannabis plants should be identical since they come from the same origin. The truth however is that this has always  been a huge misassumption.  Unlike the expectation that the genotypes are identical, they are actually similar but still contain differences between them. And a simple way to express this is through identical twins. Contrary to the expectation that the genetic information should express themselves completely alike, they are actually like siblings.

This explains the uniqueness and variations that are seen in cannabis seeds from the same origin grown under the same environmental conditions. This influences the taste, smell, odor, and shape of the cannabis plant as individual seeds have individual genetic codes.

Hybrids and Clones

The knowledge of the differences between phenotype and genotype is also important when it comes to the making of hybrids and the expected results. Hybrids are bred for their ability to join the beneficial characteristics of indica strains and sativa strains and the knowledge of this relationship will be important when plants have dominant sativa genetic yet still show more indica characteristics.

If the goal is to have the same cannabis plants with identical characteristics, clones are the way to go. The genotype of the young plant will be the same as that of the mother plant and when grown in the same environment, they will express with the same types of physical characteristics.




What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: