Gen Zero Vs. Traditional Clones

Generation Zero Cannabis Tissue Culture Clones Versus Traditional Nursery Clones:

Choosing your plant stock can be one of the most important steps in mitigating risk in your cultivation operation. 

Tissue culture for nursery production was commercialized over four decades ago and is widely used across agricultural and horticultural sectors.  Strawberries, blueberries – many of the fruits that fill produce shelves at grocery stores are propagated using tissue culture. It was not until recently that the technology was adopted by the cannabis community as knowledge-sharing between industries becomes more common. 

Tissue culture provides true-to-type cultivars that are pest and pathogen-free. Utilizing tissue culture stock to populate your cannabis cultivation operations will allow you to get a step ahead of the competition and enable you to hit your goals faster. 

Let’s explore the differences between and benefits of generation zero tissue culture clones over traditional clones:

Generation zero clones
A generation zero tissue culture clone is not grown from a seed or a cutting off of a mother plant.  It is propagated from the culture of the plant’s tissue that has been cleaned and restored to its original state.  While some companies may use tissue culture to grow out a mother plant, then take cuttings from that mother and use traditional planting techniques, that is not a true gen zero clone, that would be considered a generation one cutting, which cannot be guaranteed to be pest and pathogen-free.

Traditional clones
Traditional clones are typically taken from mother plants in the vegetative stage. A cutting from a cannabis plant is taken and placed into a plug with rooting gel to encourage it to grow its own roots and become a copy of the original mother plant. Over time as the mother plant ages, the quality of your genetics can deteriorate due to diseases and poor health. 

The top 5 reasons generation zero clones are the smart start for your cultivation:

  1. Guaranteed pest and pathogen-free

You have enough on your plate managing a grow operation. It is important to vet your nurseries to know what issues could arise as you work with them. Many traditional nurseries operating in the market grow with perpetual mothers in greenhouse settings, opening them up to pests and pathogens in the surrounding area. Even clones taken from mothers sourced from tissue culture are susceptible to the same risks in the greenhouse setting. The last thing you want to do is bring in plants with stowaways on them! 

Tissue culture is vital in the cannabis industry today because pests and pathogens can impact quality and yield. Pests such as spider mites, foliar and root aphids, thrips, fungus gnats, powdery mildew, botrytis, and fusarium all can have huge impacts on your operation. In addition, viroids including the dreaded HLVd are spreading to farms through traditional cutting methods and having a huge impact on the quality of the final product along with potential crop loss. We can ensure that pest and pathogen-free plants are delivered to our customers through tissue culture, setting commercial cannabis operators up for success from the start. 

  1. Verified genetics 

With Conception Nurseries’ true-to-type TrueClonesTM, you can rest assured that all of our genetics have been vetted through a rigorous initiation process. There are countless cultivars in the traditional market that are renamed –  and aren’t always what they are labeled.  All cultivars Conception intakes go through genotype testing to verify the genetics against the name. This ensures that our customers get not only what they are paying for, but the best version of those genetics.

Conception partners with breeders and phenohunters to bring in best-in-class genetics. Genotype testing allows us to protect their hard work and ensure that you get verified cultivars as advertised. In addition, we pay royalties for every cut that we sell from our partner breeders, so they are incentivized to keep breeding the next generation of fire exotics. 

  1. The optimized potential of genetics

A plant’s yield, chemotype, and overall performance are a result of its genes and the environment it is in. The scientific expression for this is Phenotype = Genotype x Environment. The plants in your grow operation are a result of their genes interacting with the environment they’re growing in.

With tissue culture, Conception can produce a clean, true-to-type plant through a rigorous process of sterilization and pathogen screening during initiation; plants are then maintained in a sterile lab environment until they reach our customers.  

Having a pest and pathogen-free clones means that the plant can live up to its true genetic potential. No endogenous bacteria or fungus pulling down the performance of the plant means it can produce the amazing flower it was bred for. This allows our customers the best opportunity to grow true-to-type cultivars that are optimized before hitting your facility. Once in your hands, the use of crop steering will allow you to express the optimal version of the genetics delivered. 

  1. Robust growth + uniformity

Many of our customers report increased vigor growing generation zero clones. Cultivars that have been run for countless years may have viruses and can not perform as well as when they were first popped as seeds. Using generation zero versions of these cultivars means that the genetics have been restored to their juvenile state similar to their seed start quality without the unknown genetic diversity that may come from seeds.. Our clients have noted that our clones catch up to traditional-sized clones planted around the same time by the end of the veg period.

  1. Save time 

Cloning plants traditionally can be a time-consuming endeavor that also takes up valuable space. The mother rooms necessary for traditional clone cutting can also open your cultivation site up to diseases or other pests/pathogens in the veg or flower rooms. Generation zero clones can eliminate the hours it takes to propagate traditionally and give you the opportunity to focus on the high-value tasks that take your flower to the next level.

Conception Nurseries: Tissue Culture Explained from Conception Nurseries on Vimeo.