Curated Leaf Services Screens New England Cannabis for Powdery Mildew

Screening cannabis plants just got a lot easier for cultivators in New England!

Curated Leaf Services (CLS) is a mobile cannabis testing lab service that uses the Medicinal Genomics youPCR™ Point-of-Grow Genetic Testing Platform to provide low-cost genetic testing to cannabis cultivators in the New England area. CLS can help cannabis growers screen plants for gender, powdery mildew infection, and CBD production, before the plants even leave the seedling tray, enabling them to make critical selection decisions early in the growing process.

“We take great pride in providing exceptional customer service,” said CLS founder and CEO, Wendell Orphe. “What makes us happy is leaving the job knowing our clients feel more confident with their cultivation.”

Wendell is the ideal person to provide mobile genetic testing services. He has a molecular biology background and is a former Medicinal Genomics research and development scientist.  Orphe primarily contributed in developing the youPCR powdery mildew assay and also helped whole-genome sequence one of the commonly found powdery mildew species on cannabis.

Although the youPCR platform was designed to be simple enough for growers to perform screening on their own plants, Orphe saw a big opportunity to provide the testing as a service in the northeast where growers are just getting off the ground.  “A majority of Registered Marijuana Dispensaries in Massachusetts are literally building their cultivation facilities from the ground up, they are either just breaking ground to layout the foundation for their new facility or the other half are 3-9 months away from planting their first cycle of seeds.”

“A lot of the growers I have worked with already have a lot on their plate.  Their focus is to apply their knowledge in growing and to run a commercial cannabis operation efficiently.  They are constantly multi-tasking in setting up lights, irrigation systems, potting, transplanting plants, maintaining nutrient regiment etc,” Orphe said. “They are happy that I can come in and screen their plants for them as it’s one less thing they have to do.”

 

Powdery Mildew Case Studies

CLS began screening plants in July 2017, and, so far, the most popular service has been powdery mildew detection, which isn’t a surprise in the humid northeast. Many growers in New England are understandably concerned that a widespread powdery mildew infection could significantly decrease their yields. Here are a few interesting cases CLS has encountered that show the value of the service.

Detecting Powdery Mildew in Mother Plant and Clones

CLS worked with a cultivator in Massachusetts, where he screened 35 mother plants. One of them tested positive for powdery mildew, before it showed any visual signs. CLS then screened clones that were cut from that mother plant and found that two were also infected with powdery mildew. Since the clones were about 5 weeks old, the cultivator decided to remove them from the grow room to prevent possible infections to other plants. He also discarded the infected mother plant.

The results were interesting, and seem to confirm that powdery mildew creates an internal network within the plant before showing any visual signs. In this case, it is likely the clones that tested positive for powdery mildew were cut from the area of the mother plant where the powdery mildew had vascularized within the plant. It’s examples like this that show the value of screening clones before introducing them into a clean grow room.  

Confirming a Successful Powdery Mildew Decontamination

Another CLS client in Maine had his plants screened after s clone he brought into the grow room developed visual signs of powdery mildew. To prevent the infection from spreading to neighboring plants, he quickly removed the plant, decontaminated the grow room, and placed the other plants in quarantine. He then brought in CLS to screen the remaining plants. The initial results confirmed the infection had not spread to the other plants. CLS will make another visit to confirm the results before transplanting them into flowering. This additional screen is performed to identify any infected plants that may have had early localized infections during the initial screen that evaded detection. By the second screen, the powdery mildew would have had an opportunity to create a larger network that is easier to detect.

Contact CLS for more information

If you are interested in becoming a CLS client, visit the company’s website at http://curatedleafservices.com/.