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Genotype Test

Genetic identification and insights for hemp and cannabis.

An important message about Phylos testing services

The Phylos Plant Sex Test and Genotype Test are no longer accepted for processing as of September 30, 2021. Full customer account access, sex test results, and genotype reports will all remain available through our website for the foreseeable future.

Learn more about the discontinuation of the Phylos Plant Sex Test and Genotype Test

Drive business growth with genetic insights

The Phylos Genotype Test is a powerful tool for understanding and improving your plants. Get a unique genetic ID and report for every plant you test, showing identical clone matches, how they’re related to varieties around the world, and insight into their breeding potential.

Phylos Tested

Defend your IP

Defend your intellectual property and document the possession of your cannabis varieties with a time-stamped report and unique ID in the Phylos Galaxy, which may be considered a form of defensive IP.

Build a Trusted Brand

Get a listing on the Phylos Galaxy, the world’s largest database of genetic insights for hemp and cannabis. Every Phylos Genotype Test includes placement in the Phylos Galaxy with a shareable link to your constellation—a custom view of your varieties.

Support Open Data

You can opt in to sharing your sequence data with a public data repository (or data library), which helps drive research through data analysis. We will never share your data without your permission. Contact opendata@phylos.bio to update your data sharing preferences.


For me, defensive IP is the most important benefit of the Phylos Genotype Test. It also allows growers to start from the same baseline so we can legitimately compare growing style and product quality.

Tyson HaworthTyson HaworthSofresh Farms

When a customer grows a Wonderland clone and it works perfectly in their environment, they’re guaranteed that they can buy the exact same plant that brought them success. Phylos Genotype makes this possible.

Kevin JodreyKevin JodreyWonderland Nursery

This is an excellent resource for a breeder! Genetic variation shows how true breeding our cultivars are and which genetics will yield the highest number of phenotypes. In line breeding, this is highly valuable information.

Alan WadeMaster Grower & AW Cannabis


How We Test

Our Genotype Test uses a BeadArray machine that reads plant DNA to identify DNA present at certain points on the genome. We refer to this data set as the underlying identifying DNA data. Comparing points on the genome allows us to distinguish each individual variety, provide customers with relational information, and assign a location in the Phylos Galaxy.

No, until December 1st, 2019, customer samples were genotyped using Illumina’s TruSeq Custom Amplicon (TSCA) Kits and sequenced on a NextSeq 500. We originally developed the BeadArray to process our own germplasm samples for breeding. In October 2019, the supplier who sells the reagents for TSCA stopped selling those kits. In order to continue supporting customers, we have moved customer testing to the BeadArray as of December 1st, 2019. For customer samples, we only analyze the same SNPs (approximately 2,000 SNPs) that are used to generate the Genotype Report and Phylos does not use the additional data for any analysis. Additionally, our proprietary data and customer data is sequestered and stored separately.

We extract DNA from stem tissue and prepare the DNA for genotyping. Genotype data is then analyzed by our automated pipeline, quality checked, represented on the Phylos Galaxy, and in Genotype Reports. Any remaining sample is disposed of after 12 months.

When an organization (company or individual) submits their variety to be published on the Galaxy, they decide whether they want to be identified as the submitting party. This profile information is easily updated in the variety profile editor. If the organization prefers to remain anonymous, they can choose to do this through the variety profile editor as well.

  • If the submitting organization is identified through the variety profile, this creates a public record showing that they had possession of that variety as of a specific date.
  • If they like, they can also submit a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for the plant, which we will link to from the Galaxy and is available through the variety profile using the "History" or "Flavor Profile" sections. This information will show the cannabinoid profile of the plant.

The Phylos Genotype Test analyzes approximately 2,000 SNP/marker locations and benchmarks your genotype samples in comparison to other samples from the Phylos Galaxy.

No. It is not scientifically possible to recreate viable germplasm (live plants) from the samples submitted for testing.


No. By law only an inventor or owner of a variety can apply for patent protection of the variety.


You will receive a comprehensive genetic report and a unique identification for your variety. Report insights include closest genetic relatives, genetic variation, heritage, and a uniqueness score. Your plant data will also be added to the Phylos Galaxy alongside thousands of varietal DNA samples from over 80 countries.

Based on our testing schedule, you will receive results within 8 weeks dependent on receipt and verification of samples. Please contact us at support@phylos.bio or 503-206-6599 ext. 1 for an estimated timelines of results.

We use genetic similarity to determine if two samples are clones. Genetic similarity tells us how alike two samples are by comparing their DNA and counting the differences between them. Samples must be at least 99% genetically identical to be considered clones.

Cannabis and hemp, like humans, has two similar copies of every part of their DNA. When you read the DNA sequence, the two copies have slight differences between them. Genetic variation (or heterozygosity), within one variety is the amount of difference between the two copies.

Two clones could have slightly different levels of genetic variation for a couple of reasons. First, one sample could be missing a few data points that are in the other sample. Second, there is technical variation introduced during processing of the sample, which can contribute slight differences in otherwise identical samples. Third, if two clonal lines were separated a long time ago, they can have what is called soma-clonal variation. As the plants grow, their cells divide and during every cell division the DNA is copied. These copies are almost identical, but some errors happen during the copying process, which leads to slight differences between clonal lines.

Inbreeding reduces genetic variation and increases trait persistence. If a line is inbred, the siblings will have very low levels of genetic variation. Most cloning is in lines with higher levels of genetic variation. Cloning preserves the genetic variation and therefore clones can have high levels of genetic variation, but will be identical to each other.

We named groups by the varieties that are dominant with the group – the names are based on phenotype or a representative variety name. Skunk and OG Kush are two group names because they are older, well-known varieties that form distinct clusters. We have a group named CBD because many of the varieties in there have higher levels of CBD (e.g., Canna-tonic, AC/DC). We named a group Berry because there were many varieties with “berry” in their names that formed this group. Hemp also forms a distinct cluster. Finally, we have a group called “Landrace” because many of the samples are not known to be drug cultivars and were collected from natural populations. However, there are likely other landrace samples that would not be part of this cluster – we just haven’t sampled them yet!

General Questions

Anyone can view the Phylos Galaxy to search for your variety and is able to access all of the information available for that plant. This includes a Genotype Report and company profile.

The Phylos Genotype Test analyzes approximately 2,000 SNPs to identify relatedness to the other tested varieties in the Phylos Galaxy. This information is used to generate the Genotype Report, which identifies closest genetic relatives, how stable the individual sample is, and other insights to support cultivation and breeding. While the report can identify the submitting organization (company or individual), it does not establish any legal claim to origination or intellectual property ownership.

Organizations are able to use the Genotype Report to support a claim of intellectual property protection, and the listing of the sample within the Phylos Galaxy could establish "prior art," which may prevent others from patenting that variety or traits of that variety at a later date. We recommend working with an IP attorney to identify where intellectual property claims may be possible.

Phylos Genotype tests alone do not make it possible to obtain a patent. That said, a time-stamped report can supplement a plant patent application filed by the creator of a unique plant.

No. There is currently no expiration for a Phylos Tested variety.

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