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Zack Guignardi, VertikalTech:

US (ME): “Using cannabis tissue culture helps reduce diseases and crop losses”

“More and more cannabis growers are interested in using tissue culture, as it takes away their concern for diseases,” says Zack Guignardi, Tissue Culture Lab Supervisor at Vertikal Tech. The company supports the Maine cannabis industry with tissue culture and virus testing. Guignardi explains that propagating cannabis by tissue culture is relatively new, as it is more difficult than other crops to grow in a lab. “However, the benefits of having clean materials is what is making this method of propagation more and more interesting for growers.”

Fewer diseases and crop losses
According to Guignardi, using tissue culture is highly beneficial for cannabis growers. “We can eliminate harmful pathogens and dangerous viruses before the material is sent out to the grower. With clean material as the foundation, we can minimize the losses that growers are facing from diseases. Diseases are major problems for cannabis growers, and tissue culture is a significant part of eliminating those diseases.”

This protection from diseases is especially important in the Maine cannabis market, says Guignardi. “We have a lot of smaller growers here, and with smaller growers, there is a more collaborative environment where people are sharing strains and genetics. As a result, it becomes easier for diseases like Hops Latent Viroid to spread around. We can now support these growers by providing clean materials as well as protecting their unique genetics.”

Tissue culture against viruses
According to Guignardi, growers are mostly concerned about viruses, because they are very difficult to eliminate. “Viruses circulate in the vascular system within the plant from which you could be cloning. Tissue culture is a verified method used to eliminate viruses from plants. That is also why the virus testing we do has become an important service of ours.”

A difficult tissue culture crop
If it is so beneficial for the grower, why is cannabis tissue culture not used more often for propagation? “Tissue culture is already used for a wide variety of horticultural crops, but it is relatively new in cannabis,” says Guignardi. “Cannabis is a relatively difficult plant to grow through tissue culture, as it is prone to many common stressors that happen during the tissue culture process. Therefore, we have spent a lot of time to perfect our process, in order to ensure that we have a vigorous crop.”

“Growers can now focus on growing”
Guignardi explains that Vertikal Tech helps growers by being a central location where the grower can purchase trusted genetics. “Because growing cannabis has only recently become legalized, many cannabis growers have not yet had the opportunity to buy genetics from other companies. Instead, they have had to do it all themselves. Through our services, the grower can focus all their attention on the actual growing of the finished product that will make them money, and they don’t have to worry about the propagation themselves.”

For more information:
Vertikal Tech
www.vertikaltech.com 

 


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