horticulture

Why Tissue Cultures are Outpacing Cloning and Seeding Techniques in Cannabis Cultivation

Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

The speed of propagation, viability of plants, and ease-of-use are all reasons tissue cultures are promulgating throughout the cannabis industry.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I could read faster than I spoke. I always spent my time reading at the same pace that words come out of my mouth. Though my comprehension skills were measured in the top 5% of American graduates, my reading speed has always seemed slow compared to others.

That is until I started learning how to improve the speed of my reading. Now, although I wouldn’t consider myself a speed-reader, I have noticed that I can read faster without any negative impact on my comprehension.

And it was just the inclusion of a simple technique in my reading.

By inserting one new technique into their growing systems, cannabis cultivators have begun speeding up the process of plant propagation.

Since plants generally have to grow from seeds, it takes time and considerable resources and effort to get a plant to maturity. By truncating the time from seed to germination to an age old enough to determine its sex, cannabis tissue cultures rapidly improve the time spent growing cannabis plants.

Though the speed is a welcome improvement for the growers, it’s not the only way growers benefit from tissue cultures.

Traditionally, if one were to grow 12 plants from seeds, 6 of them could be expected to be males. That means, despite the time and effort put into growing the plants, half of them would need to be removed from the crop. Tissue cultures, like cloning, give growers a way to ensure an all-female grow.

Clones, however, are notorious for their weaknesses, such as:

  • Inability to combat disease,
  • Increased likelihood of insect attack,
  • Proneness to contract an infection,

As Thorpe described in a 2012 paper, tissue cultures are an improvement in the viability of a plant’s success because it is an “aseptic culture of cells, tissues, organs, and their components under defined physical and chemical conditions in vitro.” [1]

By utilizing the technique to plant a clean culture in an ideal environment for growth, the outcomes for this type of cultivation are vastly improved.

Sounds too difficult to introduce at your home or lab? Anyone can learn how to create their own tissue culture kit for a DIY experience by checking it out on YouTube. Why not? It’s how I learned to read quicker.

References

[1] Thorpe, T. “History of Plant Tissue Culture.” Methods in Molecular Biology. 2012. 877;9-27. [Times Cited = 18, Journal Impact Factor = 0.79]

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

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