SC Labs Launches Testing For Infectious Viroid Affecting North American Cannabis Crops

SC Labs announced on May 10th that its labs are now capable of testing for the highly infectious hop latent viroid, known as “dudding disease.”

The viroid,  which stunts the growth of cannabis plants and reduces the potency by as much as 40%, is almost impossible to detect based on symptoms alone. According to the company it is estimated that the common practice of shipping cloned plants across the country has led up to half of all plants in the US to be infected.

Unlike other pathogens, like fungi, yeast and bacteria, there are few visible symptoms of a hop latent infection until plants are in flower. SC Labs has developed procedures to test for and detect this dangerous viroid by screening the genetic makeup of plants extracted from small samples of fan leaf tissue to determine if plants are infected before flowering.

“SC Labs is proud to announce our advanced analysis for hop latent viroid (HLV or HLVd) and virus testing solutions to help combat the threat of viroid to the entire cannabis community. Our solutions target the infections that directly impact production with cutting-edge reverse-transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR or QRT-PCR) technology. We take small sample sizes from low-THC biomass and conduct rigorous, routine process inspections and data audits for national testing," Josh Wurzer, SC Labs chief compliance officer told Benzinga. "We firmly believe the only way commercial growers can protect their plants and consumers is through regular testing, especially as experts estimate that the viroid is present in half of all plants in the country. Our goal is to work with growers and their facilities to ensure proper proactive routine testing and strict sanitation and sterilization protocols are in place to fight against the spread of HLV across the nation.”

HLV has few visible symptoms until the plant is in flower, but symptoms do include:

  • Shorter internodal spacing

  • Smaller leaves

  • Stunting

  • Malformation (outwardly horizontal plant structure)

  • Chlorosis

  • Brittle stems

  • Reduced vigor

  • Reduced water intake

  • Reduced flower mass and trichomes

  • Smaller and looser buds

  • Weaker flower smell

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsJosh WurzerpremiumSC Labs
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