How to cross breed seeds?

Learn About F1 Hybrid Seeds

Much is written in today’s gardening community about the desirability of heirloom plant varieties over F1 plants. What are F1 hybrid seeds? How did they come about and what are their strengths and weaknesses in the home garden of today?

What are F1 Hybrid Seeds?

What are F1 hybrid seeds? F1 hybrid seeds refers to the selective breeding of a plant by cross pollinating two different parent plants. In genetics, the term is an abbreviation for Filial 1 – literally “first children.” It is sometimes written as F1, but the terms mean the same.

Hybridization has been around for a while now. Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk, first recorded his results in cross breeding peas in the 19th century. He took two different but both pure (homozygous or same gene) strains and cross-pollinated them by hand. He noted that the plants grown from the resulting F1 seeds were of a heterozygous or different gene make up.

These new F1 plants carried the characteristics that were dominant in each parent, but were identical to neither. The peas were the first documented F1 plants and from Mendel’s experiments, the field of genetics was born.

Don’t plants cross pollinate in the wild? Of course they do. F1 hybrids can occur naturally if conditions are right. Peppermint, for example, is the result of a natural cross between two other mint varieties. However, the F1 hybrid seeds that you find packaged on the seed rack at your local garden center are different from wild crossed seeds in that their resultant plants are created by controlled pollination. Since the parent species are fertile, one can pollinate the other to produce these peppermint seeds.

And the peppermint we just mentioned? It’s perpetuated through the regrowth of its root system and not through seeds. The plants are sterile and can’t propagate through normal genetic reproduction, which is another common characteristic of F1 plants. Most are either sterile or their seeds don’t breed true, and yes, in some cases, seed companies do this with genetic engineering so that their F1 plant refinements can’t be stolen and replicated.

Why Use F1 Hybrid Seeds?

So what are F1 hybrid seeds used for and are they better than the heirloom varieties we hear so much about? The use of F1 plants really blossomed when people began to do more vegetable shopping in grocery store chains than in their own backyards. Plant breeders sought more uniform color and size, looked for more definite harvest deadlines and durability in shipping.

Today, plants are developed with a specific purpose in mind and not all of those reasons are about commerce. Some F1 seeds may mature faster and flower earlier, making the plant more suitable for shorter growing seasons. There might be higher yields from certain F1 seeds that will result in larger crops from smaller acreage. One of the most important accomplishments of hybridization is disease resistance.

There is also something called hybrid vigor. Plants grown from F1 hybrid seeds tend to grow stronger and have greater survival rates than their homozygous relatives. These plants need fewer pesticides and other chemical treatments to survive and that’s good for the environment.

There are, however, a few downsides to using F1 hybrid seeds. F1 seeds are often more expensive because they cost more to produce. All that hand pollination doesn’t come cheap, nor does the laboratory testing these plants undergo. F1 seeds can’t be harvested by the thrifty gardener for use the following year. Some gardeners feel that the flavor has been sacrificed to uniformity and those gardeners might be right, but others might disagree when they taste that first sweet taste of summer in a tomato that ripens weeks ahead of the heirlooms.

So, what are F1 hybrid seeds? F1 seeds are useful additions to the home garden. They have their strengths and weaknesses just as Grandma’s heirloom plants do. Gardeners shouldn’t rely on fad or fancy but should try a range of selections, regardless of the source, until they find those varieties best suited to their gardening needs.

Cross Breeding is a feature of IndustrialCraft2 that allows you to combine the stats of two Crops to potentially gain new Crops. They are especially useful for getting materials that cannot normally be retrieved from crops.

Every plant in IC2 is capable of Cross Breeding, including Vanilla plants, except for mushrooms and cacti. However Flax cannot be used in Cross Breeding.

There are various different types of new crops, including Blackthorn, Cyazint, Ferru, Stickreed, Terra Wart, Hops,Venomilia, Tulip, Cocoa, Redwheat, Aurelia, Dandelion, Rose, and Coffee Beans. Crops from Vanilla Minecraft that can be used include Melons, Pumpkins, Cocoa Beans, Carrots, Potatos, Sugar Cane, Wheat, Roses, Dandelions, and Netherwart.

Harvesting ProcessEdit

When a fully matured plant is harvested from a Crop, it will have a chance of dropping a Seed Bag, along with the respective crop, if you choose to destroy the crop. If you right-click, the crop will stay and you will still get the crop but not a Seed Bag. Left-click to destroy the crop.

Unless previously identified, Seed Bags will be known as Unknown Seeds (30126). Each seed bag has its unique seed and cannot be spawned.

Each Unknown Seed can be analyzed by a Cropnalyzer up to four times. Each scan providing more information about the seed.

Cross Breeding ProcessEdit

  1. Place a Crop on each North, South, East, West directions on a 3 x 3 Tilled Dirt with Water in the middle. Make sure the area is well lit and quite big. It is recommended to expose the plants to the sky as plants need air to grow.
  2. Place respective Seeds in the Crop and wait until fully grown and the stick is almost unseen. It should be noted that when trying to plant Roses or Dandelions, unless using a seed bag, exactly 4 in your hand are required, and the crop will need direct contact with sunlight, as well as the need for it to be daytime.
  3. Once they are grown, place two Crop Sticks (right-click twice) on each of the corners of the 3×3 field. Don’t harvest yet.
  4. After some time Cross Breeds will eventually start to grow on the additional Crops.

Alternative Cross Breeding ProcessEdit

This method allows for easier collection of harvests, makes it much harder to accidentally trample Crops, and limits the damage that can be done by any one weed.

  1. Place a 2×2 square of raised dirt and till it.
  2. Place a Crop on two opposing corners with water off to the side. Make sure there are no more than 4 blocks distance between water and your Crops. Make sure the area is well lit and exposed to the sky for best results.
  3. Plant your seeds in the two Crop and wait until at least its second to last stage of growth.
  4. Once they are at least in their second to last stage of growth, place two Cross-Breeding Crops (place a crop then place another crop on top) on each of the two remaining blocks.
  5. After some time Cross Breeds will eventually start to grow on the additional Crops.

WeedsEdit

Weeds will eventually start to grow at your Crossing Station. They can stop growth of Plants and destroy them.

Weeds can be stopped and prevented by the use of Weed-EX, but using it will hurt the stats of new crops, and overuse may be able to damage the stats of existing crops.

Weeds can be spotted by Grass growing around a field or by Weed Seeds in the Crop itself.

  • Note: The beginning stage of weeds can easily be mistaken for wheat or other grass based plants. The key difference is that weeds are a darker green and lays flat. The only first-stages that look like weeds are flowers. Another thing to be wary of is that from Growth statistic 24 to 31 (current max), the Crop will begin acting like a weed, destroying nearby crops just as weeds do. Therefore a recommended Growth statistic would be 20-21.

Cross Breeding ToolsEdit

Crops are used as a basic structure to enable the Growth of Cross Breeds.

Fertilizer is used to increase the speed of Growth since Plants won’t be instantly grown by Bonemeal and can take quite a while to grow on their own.

Weed-EX is used to stop or prevent Weeds.

Hydration Cells are Coolant Cells which have been placed into an Extractor. They are used to hydrate Crops, however they will not work as a substitute for a water source.

The Crop-Matron is an automated Device for Cross Breeding. It will apply fertilizer, Weed-Ex and Hydration Cells when needed.

PlantsEdit

Note: When it comes to special conditions for growth, ones listed as having ‘none’ includes having no need for any light. Knowing this, it makes it much easier to cross-breed for other plants needing no light by growing them in darkness, which filters out plants which require light to grow.

Crop Keywords Source Drops Special conditions Recommended combos
Tier 1 Pumpkin Orange, Decoration, Stem pumpkin seeds, seed bags, cross-breeding Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds, seed bags none Melon + Wheat, Reed + Reed
Wheat Yellow, Food, Wheat Seeds, seed bags, cross-breeding Wheat, Seeds, seed bags High quality light source and air
Tier 2 Reed Reed Sugar Cane, seed bags, cross-breeding Sugar Cane, seed bags none Wheat + Wheat, Sugar Cane + Sugar Cane, Sugar Cane + Wheat
Melon Green, Food, Stem Melon seeds, seed bags, and cross-breeding. seed bags none Wheat + Wheat, Pumpkin + Pumpkin, Reed + Reed
Dandelion Yellow, Flower 4 Dandelions (plants as one fully grown Dandelion) seed bags, cross-breeding Yellow dye, seed bags High quality light source and air Any two flowers
Rose Red, Flower 4 Roses (plants as one fully grown Rose), seed bags, cross-breeding Red Dye, seed bags High quality light source and air Any two flowers
Blackthorn Black, Flower seed bags, cross-breeding Ink Sacs, seed bags High quality light source and air Any two flowers
Cyazint Blue, Flower Seed bags, cross-breeding Cyan dye, seed bags High quality light source and air Any two flowers
Tulip Purple, Flower, Tulip Seed bags, cross-breeding Purple dye, seed bags High quality light source and air Any two flowers

Tier 3Edit

Venomilia

  • Keywords: Purple, Flower, Tulip, Poison
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Purple dye and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: High quality light source and air.
  • Uses for Items dropped: Purple dye, Pink dye and Magenta dye.
  • Causes weeds to spread more quickly to nearby Crops.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Tulips + Tulips.

Cocoa

  • Keywords: Brown, Food, Stem
  • Source: Cocoa beans, seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Cocoa beans and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: Two additional dirt blocks placed directly underneath the tilled soil block the Cocoa is planted on will increase this plant’s success by 30%.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Melon + Melon, Reed + Reed

Tier 4Edit

Stickreed

  • Keywords: Reed, Resin
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Sticky Resin, Sugar Cane, and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: none
  • Used to make Sticky Resin, Rum, Paper, and Reeds.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Reed + Reed

Note: Stickreed looks identical to Reed in its first three stages of growth. When harvested on its third stage, it may drop Sugar Cane and seed bags, but no Sticky Resin.

Tier 5Edit

Hops

  • Keywords: Green, Ingredient, Wheat
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Hops and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: High quality light source and air.
  • Used to make beer/rum.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Nether Wart + Nether Wart, Stickreed + Stickreed

Nether Wart

  • Keywords: Red, Nether, Ingredient, Soulsand
  • Source: Nether Fortress, seed bags, and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Nether Wart and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: none
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Hops + Hops, Stickreed + Stickreed

Note: Nether Warts can also be planted directly into empty Crops, though its stats will all be 1.

Terra Wart

  • Keywords: Blue, Aether, Consumable, Snow
  • Source: Seed bags, and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Terra Wart and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: none
  • Used to remove negative effects, such as poison.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Ferru + Ferru, Nether Wart + Nether Wart, Melon + Melon

Note: Terra Warts can also be planted directly into empty Crops, though its stats will all be 1. This is one of the hardest plants to cross-breed for. It is therefore highly recommended to cross-breed in darkness to eliminate the spawn of many undesired plants.

Tier 6Edit

Ferru

  • Keywords: Grey stem, Metal
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: ‘Small Pile of Iron Dust’ and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: An Iron Ore block, NOT Iron block, MUST be one of the first two blocks directly under the tilled soil block the Ferru is planted on for the plant grow to maturity.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Terra Wart + Terra Wart

Note: Ferru looks identical to Aurelia and Coffee in its first three stages of growth.

Redwheat

  • Keywords: Red, Redstone, Wheat
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Redstone dust, Wheat, and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: Light level must be between 5-10 (redstone torches are 7) or it won’t even cross-breed.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Aurelia + Aurelia, Nether Wart + Nether Wart

Tier 7Edit

Coffee

  • Keywords: Leaves, Ingredient, Beans
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Coffee beans and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: none
  • Used for making coffee.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Aurelia + Aurelia, Netherwart+Netherwart

Note: Coffee looks identical to Aurelia and Ferru in its first three stages of growth.

Tier 8Edit

Aurelia

  • Keywords: Gold, Leaves, Metal
  • Source: Seed bags and cross-breeding.
  • Drops: Gold nuggets and seed bags.
  • Special conditions for growth: A Gold Ore block, NOT Gold block, MUST be placed underneath the tilled soil block the Aurelia is planted on for the plant grow to maturity.
  • Recommended cross-breeding combos: Ferru + Ferru

Note: Aurelia looks identical to Coffee and Ferru in its first three stages of growth.

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A beginner’s guide to… F1 slang

A new F1 season means a new set of fans ready to immerse themselves in the technicolour, sensory overload-y glory that is Formula 1 (we’re biased, we know). But with F1 being the technical, jargon-laden sport that it is, it can sometimes be hard for a newbie to work out what the hell the drivers, team bosses and commentators are talking about half the time. So to help new fans get themselves up to speed, we decided to produce a guide to some of the most commonly used pieces of F1 slang, and what they mean – and here it is!

UNDERCUT

What is it: When a driver, struggling to get past another car, pits early in a bid to get a performance advantage from fresh tyres that will hopefully put them ahead when their rival then pits.

Use it in a sentence: “He’s going to try to use the undercut to get ahead”

Not to be confused with: A haircut popular with hipsters the world over.

MARBLES

What are they: Small pieces of rubber that are shredded from the tyres during cornering, which build up off the racing line. Running onto them mid-race can be treacherous as they prevent the tyre making proper contact with the road, thereby reducing grip. Driving over them after the chequered flag, however, is a nifty tactic the drivers use to try and make sure their cars aren’t underweight at the race end.

Use it in a sentence: “I got onto the marbles in the hairpin, went a bit wide and got the tyres dirty”

Not to be confused with: Lots of small glass balls on the track. That would be dangerous.

Check out our beginner’s guide to F1 cliches

DIRTY AIR/CLEAN AIR

What is it: ‘Dirty air’ is created by the odd vortices of air spinning off the back of a leading car and reducing the efficient airflow over the wings of the following one, giving it a performance disadvantage by reducing downforce. Clean air is when a car is out on its own, with a nice, undisturbed airflow passing over its wings, providing good downforce.

Use it in a sentence: “I tried to get past but I was stuck in his dirty air. But once he pitted and I got some clean air, I could start to put in some decent laps”

Not to be confused with: A gastric problem.

BOTTOMING

What is it: Quite simply, it’s when the underside of the car hits the track. It’s usually caused by bumps in the track or a sudden rise or crest, à la Eau Rouge. The act of bottoming was made more spectacular, if you’ll pardon the expression, by the introduction of titanium skid blocks in 2015, which throw off a shower of sparks when the cars’ undersides hit the deck.

Use it in a sentence: “The car had a good balance, although on my qualifying lap, it was bottoming and I lost some time”

Not to be confused with: Anything involving the gluteus maximus.

What Do the F1, F2 and F3 Mean on the Computer Keyboard?

The F1 through F12 keys on a computer keyboard are commonly referred to as function keys. The many uses, or functions, of these keys vary based on what programs are open and on the active operating system. Function keys can sometimes be used in conjunction with other keys to perform additional tasks. The other keys used for this purpose are generally ALT and CTRL.

Keyboard shortcuts allow users to perform tasks without needing to find the command in the task bar.

F1

The first of the function keys, numerically speaking, is the F1 key. In almost any program for any operating system, the F1 key also serves as the help key. When pressed, it will open the help menu for the program currently in use. In Microsoft Windows, pressing the F1 key along with the Windows key will open the Microsoft Windows help and support screen. It will open the Microsoft Office task pane if pressed with the CTRL key.

F2

The F2 key has a number of functions unique to Microsoft Windows and its various programs. When an icon or other file is selected, the F2 key will give the user the option to rename it. In Microsoft Word, the F2 key can open a new document when pressed together with ALT and CTRL. The print preview feature of Microsoft Word can be accessed by pressing the F2 key and CTRL.

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The F3 key is used in a variety of programs to open a search window. MS-DOS operating system users can use the F3 key to repeat the most recent command. In Microsoft Word, the F3 key used in conjunction with the Shift key can alter capitalization for an entire document. It has the ability to capitalize the entire text, as well as change all uppercase letters to lowercase. It can also capitalize just the first letter of every word.

Other Function Keys

The F4 through F12 keys perform a wide range of tasks as well. The F4 key will open a find window in most programs. The F5 key will refresh the current window in almost any Internet browser. In Microsoft Word, the F7 key will perform a spelling and grammer check and the F12 key will open the Save As menu. The Windows startup menu can be accessed using the F8 key. The F11 key is used to enter full-screen mode.

Hybrid varieties

The outstanding example of the exploitation of hybrid vigour through the use of F1 hybrid varieties has been with corn (maize). The production of a hybrid corn variety involves three steps: (1) the selection of superior plants; (2) selfing for several generations to produce a series of inbred lines, which although different from each other are each pure-breeding and highly uniform; and (3) crossing selected inbred lines. During the inbreeding process the vigour of the lines decreases drastically, usually to less than half that of field-pollinated varieties. Vigour is restored, however, when any two unrelated inbred lines are crossed, and in some cases the F1 hybrids between inbred lines are much superior to open-pollinated varieties. An important consequence of the homozygosity of the inbred lines is that the hybrid between any two inbreds will always be the same. Once the inbreds that give the best hybrids have been identified, any desired amount of hybrid seed can be produced.

Pollination in corn (maize) is by wind, which blows pollen from the tassels to the styles (silks) that protrude from the tops of the ears. Thus controlled cross-pollination on a field scale can be accomplished economically by interplanting two or three rows of the seed parent inbred with one row of the pollinator inbred and detasselling the former before it sheds pollen. In practice most hybrid corn is produced from “double crosses,” in which four inbred lines are first crossed in pairs (A × B and C × D) and then the two F1 hybrids are crossed again (A × B) × (C × D). The double-cross procedure has the advantage that the commercial F1 seed is produced on the highly productive single cross A × B rather than on a poor-yielding inbred, thus reducing seed costs. In recent years cytoplasmic male sterility, described earlier, has been used to eliminate detasselling of the seed parent, thus providing further economies in producing hybrid seed.

Much of the hybrid vigour exhibited by F1 hybrid varieties is lost in the next generation. Consequently, seed from hybrid varieties is not used for planting stock but the farmer purchases new seed each year from seed companies.

Perhaps no other development in the biological sciences has had greater impact on increasing the quantity of food supplies available to the world’s population than has the development of hybrid corn (maize). Hybrid varieties in other crops, made possible through the use of male sterility, have also been dramatically successful and it seems likely that use of hybrid varieties will continue to expand in the future.

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