"Micropropagation brings cannabis one step closer to efficient production"

As nurseries and garden centers fill up with spring landscaping plants, home gardeners owe a lot to a technique called micropropagation, which has proven beneficial to many plants — perhaps soon to include cannabis, thanks to the work of the University of Connecticut's researchers in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.

Micropropagation is a technique used for growing large quantities of new plants from fewer “parent” plants, yielding clones with the same, predictable qualities. The cannabis industry, however, has been largely left out of this beneficial technique, because this species of plant is extremely difficult to micropropagate.

Researchers from UConn — including associate professor Jessica Lubell-Brand, Ph.D. student Lauren Kurtz, and professor Mark Brand, in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture — have worked through some of the challenges of cannabis micropropagation of hemp. Their method was recently published in HortTechnology.

Currently, the commercial cannabis industry relies on other propagation techniques, such as collecting seeds or taking carefully timed cuttings from stock “mother” plants. These methods require a lot of space and maintenance, since multiple specimens of each line of stock plants must be kept in the event of disease outbreak or plant death.

Read more at lancasterfarming.com

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