If you’re looking for Lansing, MI cannabis tissue culture resources, you likely have some questions about what attracts so many horticulturists to plant tissue culture propagation each year. The cannabis industry is no exception, with more and more growers turning to tissue culture as a means of propagating their harvest each year. Both the recreational and medical marijuana markets are developing customers with more refined palates, with higher expectations for quality, cannabinoid content, and even flavor. With this comes the task of further specializing your cannabis production, or perfecting the process of cultivating the types of plants you wish to see succeed.
Cannabis propagation can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most efficient and reliable methods is through tissue culture propagation. Tissue culture propagation involves growing cannabis plants from small pieces of plant tissue that have been placed in a sterile container and are then incubated under controlled conditions. This process has been used for many years to propagate plants commercially and has become more popular in recent years as cannabis cultivation has become more mainstream. Let’s take a closer look at this process and some of the benefits it offers cannabis growers!
What Are the Different Ways to Propagate Cannabis?
There are several different ways to propagate cannabis, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Horticulturists may choose to propagate their cannabis by way of:
· In vitro propagation (also called micropropagation or plant tissue culture cultivation)
· Callus production in healthy marijuana plants, from which a propagator can develop a clone plant
· Conventional propagation, which relies on clippings from a mother plant or seeds to grow more plants
For more information on the different ways to propagate cannabis, check out our recent article on the topic!
What's the Difference Between Plant Cloning and Tissue Culture Propagation?
Cloning plants is the process of creating a secondary plant or “offspring” which is genetically identical to the mother plant by way of asexual reproduction. This can be done in a lab or through clippings which are then planted in soil. In contrast, tissue culture involves producing large quantities of seedlings in quick succession in a laboratory environment by nurturing a small sample of plant tissue.
There are several key distinguishing characteristics that differentiate tissue culture propagation from older cloning methods. Perhaps the starkest of these differences is the number of starter plants produced by the process. For example, 200 clone cuttings can yield around 11,000 clones a month, or roughly 132,000 clones per year, whereas 200 nutrient vessels, each with five plant clippings, can produce as many as 2.4 million clones per year!
When Was Plant Propagation From Tissue Culture First Utilized?
Plant tissue culture has been in the circulation of human awareness since the 1700s but began developing in earnest in 1898. By the 1950s, this means of propagating plants was used extensively in the orchid industry to cultivate and preserve genetic variation of the—notoriously difficult to breed and care for—flower.
Benefits of Tissue Culture/Micropropagation
Because tissue culture requires cultivating a highly controlled environment for the plant tissues you wish to grow into full cannabis plants, it does take significantly more resources and more effort than traditional growing methods, such as creating fields or greenhouses of marijuana. However, many horticulturists agree that the benefits far outweigh the costs of the initial investment of the necessary equipment, ongoing maintenance of the sterile environment, and associated utility bills.
Aside from the ability to propagate many more clones in the course of the year than traditional cloning methods, there are many benefits to tissue culture or micropropagation that set it apart from older propagation methods. These include but are not limited to:
· Plantlets can be cultivated very rapidly
· Plantlets can be cultivated from very little tissue
· Plantlets can be produced without exposure to pathogens
· Plants can be cultivated regardless of the season
· Plants can be cultivated in a smaller amount of space
· Plant genetic diversity can be increased much faster than traditional breeding methods
Why Tissue Culture Is the Future of Cannabis
While some prospective cannabis cultivators may balk at the initial cost of setting up a tissue culture growing operation, many find that the benefits in terms of yield and quality of the product far outweigh the upfront cost. With the ability to carefully control each generation of cannabis plants, modern growers can not only dial in their genetics with better specificity, but they can do so on a faster timeline. This means cannabis horticulturists who utilize this method of propagation can set the standards in the industry for quality in addition to the content of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. What’s more, participants in this method of propagation may be able to preserve tissue culture samples in long-term storage by way of freezing them, thereby keeping historical genetic records of the favorite plants that have come before.
Are you interested in Lansing, MI cannabis tissue culture classes? Shoots N’ Roots is one of the industry leaders in cannabis education and cultivation in Michigan state. For more information on how you can grow with us, click here!