ISM’s Genetics Library explained

Over the last years I have written many articles for our websites and numerous publications like Weedworld magazine, Skunk Magazine and many more publications.

In those articles I often refer to our “Genetics Library” without explaining more about the importance of this elusive place to our breeding projects and beyond.

Our genetics library is where we keep all the Cannabis genetics we collected during our lifetime, and where we have been keeping many strains alive since then, in their original state.

Keeping strains alive is very important to us as breeders, since making the same seeds year after year requires the same two parents to be available every time, as only those two parents will produce the exact same seeds.

Over the last 15 years our library has both grown and shrunk considerably.


close-up 22We collect almost every strain/clone and keep it for at least a few test-grows to see the potential of a strain, sometimes resulting in dozens of additions due to the large amount of strains available through the hundreds of seed banks around these days.

Yes, we do like and need to test lots of strains, mostly from competing companies, to see what other breeders are doing with a strain, and for that small chance to find a rare phenotype that we feel the need to keep for the future.

Of course only a few of the many strains are worth keeping, as many seeds sold are just watered down copies of already existing strains and therefor show little to none potential for breeding.

But sometimes there comes a special strain that shows incredible potential, modern breeders like DNA Genetics, OldTimer and Holy Smoke Seeds to name just a few, still create some of the most exiting new hybrids resulting in numerous awards for their dedication to quality.

Thinking about it there have been a lot of interesting strains available for the last decade, from the group of people I personally refer to as the third generation of breeders came strains like LA Confidential, Ghost Train Haze, Sour Diesel and many more that definitely deserved more experimenting and keeper plants were kept in our library.

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Beside the amazing strains that came in seed form, there were perhaps even more that arrived to us as clones, especially during our Cannabis College years did we receive dozens of potential keepers from our friends and hundreds of random people so proud of their own strains that they send us a few clones to try.

free-seeds-bannerWe also spend many years on and off in California during their initial “green-rush” and worked with literally hundreds of clone-only strains from the best dispensaries and local breeders, although local can be taken quite loosely as we gathered strains from as north as Vancouver, and as south as New Mexico.
Here we found many great keepers strains, albeit not all suited for breeding due to their unknown heritage, we do do a lot of more casual breeding projects with these strains, but our staple seed collection is only made from genetics of which we know the heritage, and as little pre-hybridized (F2, F3..F8 generation etc.) as possible.

From the few really interesting keepers we used a few for our first line of feminized seeds, a great OG Kush cut, my beloved Arcata Trainwreck and of course one of our “Exodus” Cheese clones made it to our selection, mostly due to their incredible smell and taste, which are some of the most important traits of a good, enjoyable Cannabis strain.

At the moment there are a few dozen clone-only strains in the Seedism library, and I am sure that more will be added on a regular basis over the next 15 years since breeders are an experimental kind of people and will always continue in their, and our quest for “the perfect strain“.

Next week I will write about our heritage genetics, the old strains in our Genetics Library that are our proudest, and most important breeding asset.



Author: amsterdammer

The Amsterdammer was introduced to the Cannabis plant more then 30 years ago when his mother grew a few in their garden in Amsterdam. Since then he has worked with the industries leaders, innovators and pioneers.