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 over long periods of time.
For weed growers, the results could prove useful, helping them avoid potentially costly mistakes in the process and ensuring consistency and quality in their crops throughout grow cycles.
Long-term storage of pollen is important for growers because of the central role it plays in seed production. Taking pollen from a male plant and rubbing it on the hairs of a female plant, usually halfway through the flowering cycle, allows the female plant to produce buds containing seeds, which, along with cloning, is a way to propagate and maintain 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 of assessing germination viability, using a liquid medium instead of a solid medium, which "enabled better image acquisition and better quantification of germination. ", According to the study.
Perhaps even more important to growers is the development of a long-term storage system for cannabis pollen.
"We 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 great,” Kovalchuk said. “Our protocol allows for almost indefinite storage,” which is “valuable 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 mixture from the liquid nitrogen and applied it to flowering female plants, seed formation was successful in all subjects.
The team also found that pollen can be more or less viable at different stages of the flowering period. The optimal time to extract the pollen appears to be in the middle of flowering. At this stage, viability is the longest, with 22% of pollen grains successfully germinating after 21 days of storage in a low temperature environment.
"In conclusion, we have standardized a simple test to quickly assess pollen fermentation in Cannabis sativa", indicates study. “Using our modified test, we demonstrated the loss of pollen viability over time when stored at 4 degrees Celsius, and we 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.