Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Phenotypic plasticity influences the success of clonal propagation in industrial pharmaceutical Cannabis sativa.

By March 18, 2019No Comments
2019 Mar 18;14(3):e0213434. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213434. eCollection 2019.


The burgeoning cannabis market requires evidence-based science such that farmers can quickly and efficiently generate new plants. In part, horticultural operations are limited by the success of cloning procedures. Here, we measured the role of environmental conditions and cultivar identity on the success of generating long branch material with many meristems in planting stock (mothers) and in rooting success of stem-derived clones. To evaluate the influence of lighting treatments on the optimal production of branching mothers, four lighting conditions (Fluorescent High Output T5s [T5], Metal halide lamps [MH], Plasma lamps [PL], or Metal halide lamps augmented with far red LED lights [MH+FR]) were applied to two cultivars of container grown plants (Cannabis sativa L. ‘Bubba Kush’, ‘Ghost Train Haze’) grown in peat-based organic substrates in mylar grow tents. To evaluate the influence of lighting, cutting tool (secateurs or scalpels), and stem wounding (present/absent) on optimal rooting of stems, three lighting conditions (Fluorescent T8s, T5, PL) were applied to three cultivars of peat pellet grown plants (C. sativa L. ‘Bubba Kush’, ‘Ghost Train Haze’, ‘Headband’). Mothers grown under T5 and MH (vs MH+FR) produced ~30% more meristems. However, growing mothers under MH+FR were 19% taller than mothers under T5, with ~25% longer internodes on dominant stems than plants under any other lighting condition. Canopies were denser under T5 because petiole length was ~30% shorter under T5 and fan leaves were longer and narrower under MH+FR and MH+FR and PL, respectively, than under other lighting conditions. Cultivar Ghost Train Haze stems rooted most frequently and most quickly. Wounded stems were 162% more likely to root than unwounded stems and rooted 1.5 days earlier. Our results will guide producers attempting to maximize the rate of clone production in licensed facilities; although results may differ among cultivars, where cultivars differed in their average phenotype as mother plants, and their propensity to root from cuttings, and the speed with which they produced those roots.

PMID: 30883573
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213434

Conflict of interest statement

LGC and JD have declared that no competing interests exist. Steve Naraine has read the journal’s policy and has the following competing interests: Steve Naraine is the Founder and Director of Aether Research Corp. He is on the Board of Advisors for MediPharm Labs and the Chief Science Officer of CannaVida SAS. Mr. Naraine is an advisor to the Minister of Agriculture of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honourable Saboto Caesar. These affiliations do not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.