Development and optimization of a maturation test for Cannabis sativa pollen
According to a new study, researchers have developed a way to determine the viability of pollen germination in marijuana plants, as well as a simple method of storing cannabis pollen for long periods of time.
For weed growers, the results could prove useful, helping them to avoid potentially costly mistakes in the process and ensuring the consistency and quality of their crops throughout the growing cycles.
It is important for growers to guarantee long-term storage of pollen because of the central role it plays in seed production. Taking pollen from a male plant and rubbing it on the hair of a female plant, usually halfway through the flowering cycle, allows the female plant to produce seed-containing buds, which, with cloning, is a way to propagate and maintain the strains.
The study, which was partially funded by the Canadian government, has "several implications," co-author Igor Kovalchuk told Marijuana Moment.
First, the team created a "test to test the viability of this pollen before using it for pollination".
They achieved this by modifying an existing method for assessing the viability of germination, using a liquid medium instead of a solid medium, which “allowed better image acquisition and better quantification of germination. According to the study.
However, the development of a long-term storage system for cannabis pollen is perhaps even more important for growers.
"We have provided a simple cryopreservation protocol using desiccation (removal of moisture from a body) combined with baked wheat flour and subsequent long term storage of cannabis pollen in liquid nitrogen" .
"This one is big," said Mr. Kovalchuk. "Our protocol allows almost indefinite storage", which is "precious for maintaining a large collection of genetics".
To preserve the pollen, the researchers removed any moisture, added the result to baked whole wheat flour and preservatives, and then frozen it in liquid nitrogen. When they removed the liquid nitrogen mixture and applied it to flowering female plants, seed formation was successful in all subjects.
The team also discovered that pollen can be more or less viable at different stages of the flowering period. The optimal time to extract pollen appears to be in the middle of flowering. At this stage, viability is the longest, with 22% of the pollen grains having successfully germinated after 21 days of storage in a low temperature environment.
"In conclusion, we have standardized a simple test to quickly assess the fermentation of pollen in Cannabis sativa", indicates the study. "Using our modified test, we have demonstrated the loss of viability of pollen over time when stored at 4 degrees Celsius, and we have suggested an optimal time for flower development for pollen collection to maximize longevity during storage ”.
"Finally, we have provided an easy protocol for cryopreservation using combined desiccation with baked wheat flour and subsequent long-term storage of cannabis pollen in liquid nitrogen," he concludes.