Viroids are the smallest pathogens known to humanity. HLVd, hop latent viroid, is a 256-nucleotide viroid that attacks hop and cannabis plants causing dudding (a significant restriction of plant growth and flowering) and favoring the insurgence of many other pathologies.
The disease may stay latent for a long period of time before manifesting and disrupts the natural equilibrium of the plant, drastically reducing the production of secondary metabolites, both in cannabis (cannabinoids, terpenoids, etc.) and hops (bitter acids).
Isolated in cannabis plants in California in 2017, HLVd has been identified in 35% of the growing facilities analyzed in the State and labelled as a spreading menace.
During the last few years, HLVd-infected clones and biomass have traveled to Europe, spreading the infection to our market.
The viroid infects healthy plants through plant-to-plant contact, survives on tools and gloves, and is transmitted from the mother-plants to their clones.
HLVd has already been reported across many cannabis strains and represents a serious threat for the upcoming growing seasons.
Fundación CANNA has prepared a line of defense for its partners and clients: robust testing via RT-PCR, initially to detect and, optionally, to identify the viroid.
The RT-PCR technique is capable of isolating and amplifying the RNA of the viroid and identifying it.
If detected, the second step allows our technicians to match the sequence of the viroid to a database of known mutants.
Paired with a strict hygiene protocol, routine testing for HLVd will keep growers and market operators safe from this menace.
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