The underside of cannabis leaves in an indoor grow site.

Cannabis Reports

Medicinal Genomics youPCR Platform: Helping Growers Screen Plants for Pathogens Before They Show Visual Signs

Medicinal Genomics expanded its youPCR™ Plant Screening Platform to include three new detection assays for common cannabis plant pathogens: botrytis, fusarium, and russet mites.

The youPCR pathogen detection assays can help cannabis cultivators identify plants infected with powdery mildew, botrytis, fusarium, and russet mites before they show visual signs. Cultivators can use the youPCR platform to screen incoming clones before they are added to a grow room or test mother plants before cutting new clones. Cultivators can also use the youPCR pathogen detection assays to diagnose infected plants and determine proper treatment. These preventive strategies reduce cultivators’ risk of suffering costly pathogen outbreaks.

In addition to pathogen screening, cultivators can also use the youPCR platform to identify males and determine plant type. Most cannabis plants can be classified into four groups based on their cannabinoids profiles:

  • Type I (THCA-dominant)
  • Type II (THCA:CBDA hybrid)
  • Type III (CBDA dominant
  • Type IV  (CBG-dominant).

The youPCR CBDA and THCA detection assays can detect whether the THCA synthase gene and/or the CBDA synthase gene is present in a plant. Different combinations of results on the respective tests will indicate the plant type.

How youPCR Works

A 4mm punch of a cannabis leaf is all that is needed to screen for plant pathogens and/or genetic traits. The leaf punch is added to a lysis solution that releases DNA from the plant cells when it is heated. That DNA is then transferred into a well containing a pink solution that contains primers, which look for a specific DNA sequence. If the target sequence is present, the solution will turn yellow, indicating a positive result.

Who uses youPCR?

Cannabis testing labs can use the youPCR platform to offer additional testing services to customers. Cultivators who have basic laboratory experience can also use the youPCR platform to test plants on-site at the grow facility.  

Sign up for the May 23rd youPCR webinar

Learn all about screening plants for pathogens (powdery mildew, russet mites, botrytis) and genetic traits (CBD synthase, THC synthase, Gender) at free webinar “Screening Cannabis Plants for Pathogens and Genetic Traits”, May 23. Medicinal Genomics Chief Science Officer Kevin McKernan will explain how The youPCR™ Plant Screening Platform can be used to protect grows from costly pathogens, accelerate breeding programs, and reduce operational costs.