Hop Latent Viroid Testing
Hop Latent Viroid (HLVd) is a plant specific RNA that relies on the host to replicate. This infectious viroid is highly mechanically transmitted and can take down a garden at anytime if not found and dealt with correctly and immediately. Once infected with HLVd, plants will start to show a wide range of symptoms including stunted and asymmetrical growth, brittleness, malformation and chlorosis in the leaves during vegetative stages. During flowering, plants that produce will have smaller, looser buds with less mass, trichomes, and overall cannabinoid and terpene production.
Testing is a critical part in controlling the spread of HLVd. From testing mothers before any cloning takes place or new clones from your friend or dispensary to testing plants that are in flower, testing multiple times a year will help you guarantee that your garden is free of this harmful viroid. We use Medicinal Genomics’ PathoSEEK Cannabis Virus Multiplex detection kit that uses reverse transcriptase and qPCR methods to detect a multitude of viruses and the HOP Latent Viroid. When samples arrive, we break down the plant tissue that is then put into a lysis that will break down the plant structure at a molecular level. The detection kit will then find, replicate, and detect the Hop Latent Viroid though qPCR methods.
Sampling your garden for the Hop Latent Viroid should be methodical and cleanliness taken to the next level so you avoid the spread any viroid that may be lying dormant within your plants to the rest of your garden. The “latent” part of the Hop Latent Viroid means that this viroid can sit in one area of a plant and not in another waiting for the right time to start its replication process. As you sample one plant, use gloves to pluck leaves or trimmers to cut. Take a leaf or a cut from 3 to 5 places on the plant ranging from the bottom to the top and from the inside to the outside of the plant. This allows the testing to show over the whole range of the plant and not just one area of the plant.
Once the samples have been collected, place leaves or cuts into a bag that is specifically labeled for that plant and that plant only. When you are ready to move to the next plant, dispose of gloves used and change to a new pair or clean your trimmers very well with a 10% percent bleach solution to make sure there is no mechanical transmission of the viroid from one plant to the next. Proceed with the next plant with new gloves, clean trimmers and a new bag to place samples collected.
Hop Latent Viroid testing is not a required analysis by the state however, THC Analytical Lab offers testing as a resource to cultivators to ensure they have a healthy and profitable harvest. The viroid panel includes testing for Hop Latent Viroid, Lettuce Chlorosis, and Cryptic Cannabis Viroid and is done by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).