With everyone trying to gain a competitive edge to increase profitability, the cannabis industry is a highly competitive market. For most businesses or any cannabis enthusiast, the question is: how can I produce more high-quality cannabis at a reasonable cost? Easier said than done, but one thing for sure, active ingredients, like mycorrhizae, provide amazing benefits (Table 1) for your crop, and ultimately for your business, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
As you probably guessed, mycorrhizal products are not all created equal. Some will allow you to get the best out of your crop by consistently providing you with all the listed benefits above; however, most won’t have any effect on your plants. Mycorrhizae are a relatively well-known subject in the industry, but there are still a lot of misconceptions in the community and, with so many product options out there, it’s difficult to make an informed decision when purchasing a mycorrhizal inoculant.
Let see which elements should be considered when evaluating if a mycorrhizal product is worth the investment.
PROPAGULES VS VIABLE SPORES
Viable Spore Count Is More Relevant Than Propagule Count
Most mycorrhizal products are listing the propagules count. Although it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it also implies that the product isn’t totally made of viable spores. Why is that important you’ll ask?
Well, spores are to mycorrhizal fungi what seeds are to a cannabis plant: the basic structure that allows the fungi to reproduce themselves. Therefore, the real value of a mycorrhizal inoculant lies in the number of viable spores it contains, since only viable spores can create a symbiosis efficiently.
To clarify further:
- SPORES: round, reproductive structures of mycorrhizal fungus that contain lipids. Their lifespan is longer than other propagules, they also have a better resistance to stresses. However, not every spore has the same tolerance and vigor. They are included in the propagule count.
- VIABLE SPORES: active spores that can colonize roots and help resist stresses. Both spores (inside the product you buy) and vesicles (inside root fragments) can be viable spores if they have physical integrity. They are included in the propagule count.
- HYPHAE FRAGMENTS: vegetative structures that grow out of spores. They are not resistant to stresses and have short lifespans. Some companies include them in the propagule count.
- NON-VIABLE SPORES: spores with heterogeneous or no lipid content. They cannot germinate or colonize a plant. Most companies include them in the propagule count.
- PROPAGULES: any part of a mycorrhizal fungus (including all the above) that may connect with plant roots to form the symbiosis. As seen, not all propagules have the same ability and vigor to form the symbiosis; however, the registration process allows companies to count propagules to indicate their quantity on the product label, instead of viable spores.
with vesicles inside
Bottom line, you should always look for a mycorrhizal inoculant that display its concentration in viable spores or at least guarantee the viability of its propagules.
MYCORRHIZAE PRODUCTS ARE NOT ALL CREATED EQUAL
It’s important to understand that not all mycorrhizal products are created equal, this is especially true for cannabis. When dealing with living microorganism and short crop like cannabis, there is little room for mistakes and second chances. It needs to work, and it needs to work quick to see the full benefits. Meaning that a mycorrhizal inoculant needs to be at least three things to be truly efficient:
- It needs to be VIABLE (alive) when it’s finally time to use it and remember only a viable spore (fungi seed) can colonize a root efficiently.
- It needs to be CONCENTRATED to get a stronger reaction and a better chance to connect efficiently.
- It needs to be applied CLOSE to the root system to allow the symbiosis to happen as quickly as possible
PRO-MIX Mycorrhizal Inoculant CONNECT has been specifically designed for cannabis growers by keeping these three aspects in mind. With 6000 viable spores per gram, it is the most concentrated inoculant of its kind on the market. By applying it as a slurry on your rooted cuttings at transplantation, you get approximately 30 000 viable spores in direct contact with the root system. The symbiosis will happen, and it will happen fast.
TESTING PRODUCT’S EFFICACY
Testing two different products against one another is complicated. A lot of growers buy two products and install a small-scale demo to verify which product is the most efficient. it is hard to get statistically significant results that confirm which product has performed better when there is so many variables to look at, such as a slight variation in fertilization, watering, compaction, lighting, ventilation, temperature, etc., and only a few plants on hand.
As an inoculant manufacturer, Premier Tech has tested several mycorrhizal inoculants on the market in controlled conditions with scientific protocols, to validate product viability and efficacy. The goal was to counter-validate the numbers of spores guaranteed in products, and, most importantly, if the products could colonize a plant at a respectable rate.
Not only PRO-MIX CONNECT was the most concentrated product by far (with a verification of the spore count to prove it), but it was the only product that colonized 100% of plants at an average of more than 40% of root colonization. The closest competitor colonized 63% of plants at an average of 5% of root colonization. From the 7 products tested, 4 did not colonize plants at all.
Your cannabis plants root system is the key for improved terpene profile, greater yield and higher cannabinoids concentration. Investing in quality mycorrhizal with a high number of viable spores brings high-value benefits, including faster growth (shorter vegetative time), improved stress resistance, increased yield, greater trichome density, increased potency (THC, CBD, etc.) and improved terpene profile.
PRO-MIX CONNECT is available in the US and Canada in different sizes.
PRO-MIX® is a registered trademark of PREMIER HORTICULTURE Ltd.
For more Information: