The process of micropropagation can be separated into four steps:
1. Initiation: A piece of plant tissue is cut from the stem and cleaned to remove any surface contaminants. Then it is placed in a medium which typically contains mineral salts, sucrose, and a solidifying agent such as agar. The objective of this stage is to achieve an aseptic culture. JEWEL can be used to prepare your stem for the cut.
2. Multiplication: By including a cytokinin in the medium, the cutting can be induced to produce vegetative shoots. A cytokinin is a plant hormone that promotes cell division. JEWEL’s active ingredient, Kelp, is full of naturally occurring cytokinins.
3. Rooting: Growing shoots can be encouraged to produce roots by including an auxin in the medium. Auxins are plant growth regulators that promote root formation. Our cold pressed kelp product Jewel contains ample amounts of naturally occurring auxins, cytokinins, and gibberellins which will stimulate stem elongation, germination, and flowering.
4. Acclimatization: A growing, rooted shoot can then be placed in soil. When this is done, the humidity must be gradually reduced over time because tissue-cultured plants are extremely susceptible to wilting.
It’s a no brainer that cannabis producers of a certain size should think about transitioning to a micropropagation method of genetic preservation. There are some myths out there about the complexity of micropropagation, but it’s a lot simpler than it sounds. In fact, micropropagation has been used for decades in horticulture, from the production of ornamental plantain lilies to banana plants and even giant redwoods.
Micropropagation requires minimal investment in infrastructure. Most indoor operations already have an HVAC system, which can be tweaked to create the perfect environment for micropropagation. Even a small space can easily become a clean, functional workspace for micropropagation with the right HVAC system. One of the key features is the separation from the grow rooms, and you’ll also need to create a positive pressure work zone through the use of HEPA filters.
Actually, the biggest investment will go towards operation requirements. Sometimes, just implementing and following the strict protocols can be a challenge for most growers. Record keeping and labeling are a time-consuming process, which needs proven protocols to ensure functionality at scale. However, no matter how much you invest into a state-of-the-art growing facility, the perfect HVAC system, the most efficient protocols, and procedures, it will all be in vain if your crop does not get the nutrition it needs to succeed. If you choose to skip supplementing your crop with the proper nutrients you will fail.
Micropropagation is much more accessible to the commercial producer. Meristematic and protoplast cultures require sterile, laboratory-like conditions and a high level of scientific knowledge.
There are three main benefits to micropropagation:
• Uses significantly less space • Reduces risk for microbial infection
• Reduces labor when compared to conventional cloning procedures
Whether you’re growing trees, herbs, vegetables or medicinal plants, growers share a universal desire to acquire hearty plants of known genetics, free of pests, and disease.
Cannabis cultivation relies on the influx of new genetics, and the output or product derived from those genetics. With the introduction of new seeds, clones or transplants, growers run the risk of introducing a new fungus, pest, virus, or undesired genetics into their gardens. Even with the most dedicated integrated pest management (IPM) program, pests and diseases can be transmitted unknowingly using traditional propagation methods. Micropropagation is a way to protect existing crops from disease, trade genetics and incorporate new ones. Our plant nutrient, JEWEL, also works to protect your cannabis from pests and diseases.
Most growers will make the same three mistakes when they undertake the transition towards more advanced forms of tissue cultivation: