MyFloraDNA

Find strange-looking plants in your grow room? It might be a sign of genetic mutation!

The fascinating thing about researching genetics is that it is unpredictable, while at the same time also predictable. Are you getting confused? In simplest terms, DNA forms an individual. It consists of the same genes but creates different components that will also express another trait. Thus, geneticists can predict the unexpected changes within individuals by knowing what happened with the genes using advanced technology.

In Cannabis, genetic mutations can also occur at any time. Factors such as toxic chemicals, abiotic element exposure, or natural occurrence influence mutation occurrence within the division stage. These deranged genes are expressed through phenotypic characteristics.

So, here is the list of some genetic mutations that have been recorded in cannabis. Did it happen to your plant as well? Let’s find out!

Secondary Buds on Leaves

Yes, it is! Some cannabis can develop unexpected buds on their leaves called secondary buds. They appear mostly at the tip of leaflets that meet with petiole, also at the crease of the lower branch where the secondary branches meet the stem. You may think this will double your yield. However, this abnormal growth is better to be eliminated by mechanical or manual picking since it diverts the allocation of plant nutrition where it should be focused on the main flower buds which result in lower yield and smaller size of buds.

Secondary buds on leaves mutation on cannabis (source: growweedeasy.com)

Albino Cannabis

Imagine when you walk across your field and catch a sight of white-frozen-look cannabis when the winter is a few months away. Then, you already find an albino cannabis. One of the genetic mutations in cannabis that has been argued among many growers.

One of the important aspects of plants is they are an autotroph creature, which means they produce their energy by themselves using a special pigment called chlorophyll. When sunlight is absorbed by plants, the chlorophyll takes an important duty to convert it byundergo the photosynthesis process. Meanwhile, albinism in plants prevents the specific genes to produce chlorophyll. That means that the absorption will not occur.

Studies in corn plants show that feeding albino plants with sugar helps them grow better and increase their overall weight of the seed. However, this albinism does not always occur in a full body of the plant. It is possible that it just appears on certain parts due to genetics or light bleaching.

And since this mutation does not give any significant benefit, or even abnormal growth that lowers your yield, it is better to set your tolerance and decide what you need to do.

Albino cannabis (source: herb.co)

Cannabis with stringy flowers

Have you ever heard about the legendary cannabis variety name Dr Grinspoon? The one with a peculiar shape of flower buds where calyxes grow separated from each other and give an impression as if they were a popcorn. Yes, this is one of many known mutations that occurs in cannabis.

This plant is commonly known with its unique aromatic and psychoactive characteristics. For the legend Dr Grinspoon himself,  the strain is destined for connoisseurs because it also yields smaller harvests. However, for the plant with natural mutation events, it mostly takes a long time to mature and higher levels of difficulties to cultivate  and harvest. In addition, this plant sometimes offer high ratios of hermaphroditism which is not necessarily needed for growers who want to harvest the yield from the flower buds.

Cannabis with stringy flower (source: alchimiaweb.com)

Polyploidy in Cannabis

Cannabis is a diploid plant, which means that every individual consists of half genetic information from the male and the female plant. However, when there is any chemical input, it is possible for the mutation event that occurs called polyploidy. Polyploidy is the condition where the genome of the organism multiplies and results in a different expression.

The result manifests itself in the variety of forms such as huge stem, greater leaves width, higher buds volume with abnormal calyxes or even in the physiological stage like longer flowering stage, longer harvesting time, and more.

Some growers consider this as a good mutation since greater volume means greater yield. Nevertheless, the cultivation method of this polyploidy plant will be different from the normal one. Thus, if you are the breeder, you can identify the unique trait of this plant and keep it as a germplasm rather than planting it along with the rest of the normal population. Then, in the future, the breed of the polyploidy and diploid plant can create a new strain to adapt with the nowadays challenge.

Polyploidy occur in cannabis plant (source: )

These are a few common genetic mutations that spread among many places of cultivation. You can be either surprised or annoyed by their present. But, still, you can appreciate how beautiful it is and see the amazing work of genetics!

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