DNA Fingerprinting | Mitigating Neighbor Cross-Pollination

DNA Fingerprinting

After the 2018 Farm Bill was legalized, there has been a surge in hemp cultivation across the United States. This escalation, though exciting also caused worries among Cannabis growers regarding a cross-pollination occurrence.

Cross-pollination is a natural phenomenon where the pollen from other plants outside the field pollinating the cultivated female plants and create a reduction of plant yield such as THC percentage and possibly change the genetic materials of certain desirable genotypes. It has become a major concern since not all growers are intended to produce a seed, and the pollination consumes the energy allocated for yield and cannabinoid content increment.

How neighbor cross-pollination occurs?

Cannabis has a dioecious flower type, meaning that male and female flowers are located on different plants. Since there are many different hemp farms and companies, there are also a big variety of purposes to grow cannabis. For some growers who want to produce plants with high Cannabinoid levels, it is important to make sure that they only cultivate the female plants in their crop area. While growers or breeders who want to produce seed or fiber should plant and preserve the male plants. Research has shown that male cannabis pollen can travel more than 10 miles, and in certain conditions penetrating outdoor cannabis fields even indoor cultivation systems. Along with it, some industries are situated close to each other –which is a major factor– and do not fully implement the safety procedure to protect their plants from becoming a source of contamination or vice versa. For breeding activities, this air-borne pollen will cause the presence of unwanted genotypes inside the plot trial where there is a possibility to decrease the quality of the parental plants and inherited by the filial. On the other side, the unexpected pollen which pollinates the female cannabis cultivation will alter the productivity of the flower. More Info


Some straightforward strategy has been suggested to mitigate the risk of cross-pollination. The most applicable suggestion would be establishing geographic isolation.

Identifying the area located at least 10 miles away from the closest hemp industry will decrease the amount of pollen transported by air and lower the risk of being contaminated.

There are also some physical isolation strategies with air filtration systems indoor, light misting of water among the plants, or planting border plants to intercept the pollen movement.

Those techniques are feasible, yet, they can significantly raise the maintenance efforts and resulting low profitability value.

But, the question is, what if it already affected my plants?


It may sound unfamiliar to some new growers, but this cutting-edge technology will be the best step to take before going further. DNA fingerprinting analysis is the method to analyze the uniqueness of any plant. Since every crop specimen will have a specific morphology that came from specific gene expression, using molecular markers will give growers accurate information about the plant. This service provided by MyFloraDNA called “Fingerprinting Analysis” has proven its efficiency to help growers know the purity of their genotypes and the percentage of identity against the ones used as reference. It also gives benefits for breeders who want to ensure their next-generation cultivars have not been affected by any strange pollen. While for flower producers, it can help them to maintain the quality and identity of their seedling after propagation. Moreover, MyFloraDNA also provides an advanced technology called the “Fingerprinting Chip Analysis”. This service is specially designed for breeders and nurseries who had taken the Whole-genome sequencing of their mother strains. With all the information obtained from this analysis, we create a personalized DNA ID Chip, which will be used to identify plant variations, even from the clones and seedlings obtained from the seeds of the mother plants. Therefore, our clients will be available to identify even minimal changes inside their plant population, preventing undesired mutations and following their breeding process progress. Give it a try! We aimed to give a long sustainable benefit for our client by combining physical handling and molecular tools. We encourage every grower, breeder, and nursery to start planning their Cannabis business and reach MyFloraDNA to create a great collaboration along the process. Let the science lead you.   Contact us!