Viroid Testing

HpLVd – Hop Latent Viroid – The Smallest Big Problem in the Hemp Industry

By Hemp, Viroid Testing

As the name suggests, Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd) was first identified in hops. Ironically, infected hop plants are asymptomatic. In contrast, infected hemp plants (Cannabis sativa) are stunted and have brittle stems with less flower mass and trichomes. Different modes of transmission have been identified for this pathogen. Damson-hop aphid, potato peach aphid, and green peach aphid are known vectors. Clones and transplants can also harbor the pathogen. Furthermore, HpLVd may also be transmitted by seeds.

Controlling the population of vectors can limit the spread of the disease in the field; but the main component of successful management of HpLVd is prevention. Using disease-free seeds and propagation material is the most effective way of avoiding HpLVd. CSP Labs is equipped to test high volumes of seeds and plant material for HpLVd with high throughput molecular testing to ensure rapid turnaround times. Moreover, our plant pathologists have developed assays to test multiple diseases along with HpLVd simultaneously.

Viroids are the smallest known pathogens of row crops and fruit trees. Like some plant pathogenic viruses, viroids are single-stranded RNA molecules; however, viroids are smaller in size and are not encapsidated. Potato spindle tuber viroid was the first viroid that was discovered in 1971. Since then, twenty-nine more viroids have been discovered and characterized.

Throughout decades of active collaboration with seed companies, nurseries, and farmers of all sizes, CSP has stayed focused on two principles; quality results and excellent customer service. In addition to disease testing on hemp, our genotyping lab provides variety identification and sex marker testing to the hemp industry.