Two species of Pythium and Fusarium responsible for fungal diseases, discovered in hydroponics. Focus on the 4 pathogens that are very harmful to cannabis
A new report sheds light on the fungal diseases that can literally kill your cannabis plants. And, even, destroying entire hydroponics systems. In addition, these recognizable fungal diseases may become more prevalent in the times to come… Be vigilant, and avoid contamination by the respective species, Pythium and Fusarium.
Pythium and Fusarium
In one published report the October 17 in Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, a group of researchers identified four pathogens that terribly harm cannabis plants - and warned that fungal diseases can easily be spread through hydroponic systems. This is the first time that these four pathogens have been detected in the laboratory on cannabis. So much so that they already exist in other plants, such as the tomato ...
Zamir Punja and his team have spent the last three years studying cannabis grown in hydroponics to determine prevalence of root pathogens. So, they analyzed the root rot of plants. And they found out that they were two species of Pythium and two species of Fusarium.
Le pythium is an Oomycete parasite like a mushroom. While the Fusarium is a fungal disease which is not only dangerous for cannabis. Indeed, it causes eye infections, such as keratitis and onychomycosis (infections of the toenails) ...
A study on 3 years
When Punja and his team first saw the roots turning brown, they thought something was eating or infecting them. It was three years ago, they started tracking down the source of the problem. Punja led the research at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
At first, the researchers didn't really see the problem in the clones they were working with that were cut and rooted by one of Canada's licensed growers. Then, looking more closely at the affected plants, they found that the pathogens did appear during the propagation cycle.
"I think one of the benefits of hydroponics is that it allows you to visualize the root, hold it up, take it out of the bucket, or just look at it in the rock wool system," Punja explains. “Visually, you can see the roots turning brown, and that wasn't normal. "
Punja says the appearance of crown rot is the most damaging symptom of the bunch. He noted that it could be caused by any of the four pathogens they identified. According to Punja, one of the interesting findings about the organisms that infect cannabis is how they transmit pathogens. They can to move in the hydroponic system.
Export of pathogens from one crop to another
Punja is concerned that some growers sell cuttings that contain Fusarium. And once it's there, it will spread no matter what, whether through the hydroponic system or through cuttings. In any case, these pathogens have definitely proven that they can survive a solution bath. Clonex. This product is used for the generation of clones.
“I don't think it's obvious, especially when we've done isolation and cultivated everything that grew. Now that we've published, I think there will be more and more people looking for [symptoms] sooner, ”Punja said.
We asked Punja if we should continue to expect other known plant pathogens to debut in cannabis in the future, due to the amount of opportunity that large farms offer.
“I think that's exactly what's going to happen. In Canada, many who used to grow tomatoes and peppers are turning to cannabis. And despite how they try to clean everything up, there are some things that are leftover tomatoes, and that end up on cannabis. "
Punja is not keen to confirm that these pathogens are hungry for cannabis plants. But he's happy that he can help people realize that.
Fight against these 4 pathogens
You won't have much choice in combating these types of pathogens. To fight against fungal diseases, it's going to take sanitation - surveillance - and a lot of forward thinking about what's going on in your crop ...
- Start by cleaning the affected areas immediately after becoming aware of the problem.
- Never allow plant matter to disintegrate.
- If you leave it there, all other plants grown in the culture medium will be infected.
- If you put outdoors, your plants will be even more vulnerable to infection ...
That being said, it is best to already have a plan when it is time to start growing, because as soon as your plant becomes contaminated with Fusarium / Pythium, you could lose your entire harvest ...
If you see signs of Fusarium, you have the option of moving unaffected plants to another location outside, transferring them to an indoor grow room, using clean pots or throwing in the towel ... There is no way to win against these fungal diseases. Not only will your plants disappear, but also the seeds that have been generated… Because the seeds help to spread the parasitic fungus. You will have to get rid of everything !!
However, as a preventive measure, be aware that clay has a higher pH, which allows it to retain fungi. If your area has clay soil, this automatically reduces your chances of a Fusarium attack. But if you are growing your plants indoors, especially hydroponics - always sterilize your tools well after using them, and your growing medium ... And, use compost for your soil because it contains good bacteria that help regrow unwanted pathogens.