Whether you are an experienced cultivator or you are growing cannabis for the first time, you will save a lot of time, resources, and headaches if you can effectively identify male plants and prevent unwanted pollination events.
Growers can use DNA-based plant sex testing to screen seedlings as young as one week old. These assays target the y-chromosome, and if detected, will deliver a positive result. From there you can either discard the males or isolate them from the females, depending on what your goals are.
While visual inspection is the most common method of sexing cannabis plants, genetic testing is an increasingly popular alternative that offers many advantages over visual inspection. So if you are planning a large outdoor crop this season, and you are planning to grow from traditional seed, you should consider using FemINDICAtor, or use a lab that does!
Visual inspection can be challenging. Visual signs of plant sex can be subtle, and some growers use a magnifying glass because preflowers may be difficult to see with the naked eye.
To visually identify a plant’s sex you must examine the pre-flower structures that develop 4-6 weeks after germination. Male plants have small, sac-like structures called pollen sacs, while female plants have two white hairs protruding from a small bud-like structure.
On the other hand, genetic assays like FemINDICAtor take all the guesswork out of sex determination, delivering results that accurately identify males 99% of the time.
Better Use of Space
Approximately 40% of plants grown from traditional seeds will be male. That represents a significant portion of your canopy, especially if you are waiting six weeks to determine sex.
By using genetic testing to screen seedlings to cull males while they are still in the seedling tray, you can ensure that your entire space is filled with productive females!
Better Use of Resources
The average plant will be transplanted three times before it shows visual signs of sex. It will also be pruned, watered, fed nutrients, and in some states, it will have to be tagged and logged into the seed-to-sale tracking system. All of these tasks cost valuable time and money. Screening out unproductive males at the seedling stage ensures that you will only ever spend time on plants that matter to you.
By maximizing your canopy space with productive females, you will also maximize your harvest and get the biggest return on your investment. In fact, we developed a calculator tool to determine just how much revenue you are missing out on by waiting to visually sex your plants.
Get Started with Sex Testing
We have developed two DNA-based hemp sex testing methods that look for the Y chromosome in a 4mm leaf biopsy. FemINDICAtor is a qPCR test that runs on a thermal cycler with an optical head for real-time results. The youPCR® Gender Detection Assay runs on less expensive equipment and delivers results visually, using a colorimetric reagent. If you would rather outsource your sex testing, we also work with several testing labs that offer sex testing as a service. Contact us today and we can connect you with a lab in your area.