Analysis of the diversity of foliar pathogenic fungi in Cannabis sativa and use of copper sulphate to control pathogen infection

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Farahmand, Hamed
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
Interaction between pathogens and cannabis plants may have the potential to cause significant yield losses in commercial cannabis growth facilities. Greenhouse studies indicated that fungal pathogens have the most severe impact on cannabis. Despite a considerable number of studies on fungal pathogens affecting cannabis, not many studies have focused on the role and efficacy of fungicides in controlling disease development. Copper sulphate has been suggested as an effective chemical against fungal pathogens. In this study, we explored the diversity of fungal pathogens in greenhouse settings and identified Penicillium olsonii to be the most abundant pathogen. We then studied the effect of copper sulphate as a fungicide to control the growth of Penicillium olsonii and found that copper sulphate could reduce the growth of Penicillium olsonii in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. This antifungal agent is also effective in decreasing the amount of Penicillium olsonii on different cannabis cultivars in vivo.
Plant pathology , Cannabis plants , Cannabis sativa , Pathogen infection , Copper sulphate