California Cannabis genetics pioneers Dark Heart Nursery announced some huge news at its Spring Trials event in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Jan. 29.
The well-attended event traditionally showcases the Dark Heart team’s latest genetics for the upcoming harvest season. This year, cultivators were treated to a significant piece of news as they congregated among the budding new strains in the company’s growroom-cum-showroom.
Already known among the community for their work to advance the science behind Cannabis breeding, the science team known for their contribution to the discovery and naming of the hop-latent viroid pathogen in the Cannabis plant announced the next breakthrough:
Sterile pot plants.
Anyone who’s cultivated Cannabis knows the danger of accidental pollination. Dark Heart’s new breeding methodology takes that risk out of the equation.
“What would it look like,” CEO and Founder Dan Grace asked at the event. “If we were to introduce varietals that were sterile? Varietals that wouldn’t produce seed, no matter what? You’ve got a herm in your garden? No big deal. It’s not going to do anything. You’ve got a neighbor who’s growing hemp, maybe, irresponsibly, next door, and you get some pollen drift over, no big deal. You missed a couple of males, roaming through the garden? No big deal.”
Dubbed Pistil Guard, the new plant-science-based initiative uses what is called a triploid genetic makeup, which, without getting too deep in the weeds (click the preceding link for the science), means the plants have three sets of chromosomes instead of two, which renders them inherently infertile.
The idea seeks to solve accidental breeding and seed creation during the flowering phase. No worries if there are roosters in the henhouse. No crops ruined by nugs full of seeds.
It’s a common practice in traditional agriculture – think seedless fruit – and it’s something price hopes will help the Cannabis community overcome accidental pollination.
“Our mission is to help Cannabis farmers thrive,” Grace said at the event.