Plants including Cannabis host distinct beneficial microbial communities on and inside their tissues designated the plant microbiota from the moment that they are planted into the soil as seed. Understanding the microbial partnerships with Cannabis has the potential to affect agricultural practices by improving plant fitness and production yield of Cannabinoids. Much less is known about these beneficial Cannabis-microbe interactions, particularly,the role that Cannabis may play in supporting or enhancing them.
The legalization of Cannabis (marijuana) is now supported by 66% of Canadian voters. Aphria Inc., was the first approved and licensed producer under the MMPR to begin growing in a greenhouse and is currently the second-largest marijuana producer in Canada. Unfortunately, Cannabis is attacked by a plethora of phytopathogens leading to a number of diseases with the most commonly reported are grey mold and powdery mildews.
Botanical extracts with the potential to stimulate crop plant growth or performance must be rigorous tested as part of new product development. Similarly, botanical extracts that control microbial growth on plant tissues (including plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria, nematodes, etc.) or that control insect or arachnid pests on plants (aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, mites, etc.) must be tested for unintended toxicity or inhibitory growth effects on plants.
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