VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, July 13, 2022 / — 3 Rivers Biotech, a leading plant tissue culture company, today announced it has identified Root Aphids as a potential vector for Hop Latent Viroid (“HLVd”). In a controlled study, the 3 Rivers team found a potentially strong correlation between the presence of Aphids and HLVd transmission.

Root Aphids, collected from plants known to have been infected with Hop Latent Viroid (HLVd), were tested for the presence of the viroid. Results showed that a significant portion of the samples collected had a robust presence of both the internal cannabis control gene and HLVd. Given the detection of the cannabis control gene, despite the precautions taken to limit plant material, the Company infers that the source of the viroid was from the digestive tract of the aphid. This discovery, placing the viroid within the Aphid, supports the hypothesis that insects can act as transmission vectors. Previously, transmission was considered to occur predominantly through mechanical means such as pruning and harvesting.

HLVd is known to have a serious negative impact on plant health, resulting in reduced vigor, yield, and biochemical expression. Controlling HLVd has become one of the more pressing issues in cannabis cultivation.

Dr. Jack Munz, Ph.D., Head Pathologist at 3 Rivers Biotech noted, “Though these results are preliminary, we think these findings are significant. We believe it is important to let cultivators know about this potential disease vector so that they can determine the most effective strategy to control this disease. Previous control measures assumed only localized infections, the management of which required only proper instrument sanitation to prevent infection, plus the testing and eradication of infected plants to limit the presence of the disease. The implication of Aphid vectoring creates a potential for long-distance spread, greater duration of the disease, and ultimately a more widely infested crop, which has significant financial repercussions. We recommend cultivators monitor for and actively control aphid infestations as part of their strategy to prevent HLVd infections. These are preliminary findings, but we are actively working to increase the sample size in order further to validate these results.”

About the Company

3 Rivers Biotech is a plant biotechnology company specializing in commercial-scale plant tissue culture for cannabis, hemp, and traditional crops to provide premium pathogen-free, pesticide-free, vigorous plants to cultivators and late-stage nurseries. 3 Rivers eliminates the risks and variables of commercial cultivation by providing its customers with pathogen testing to diagnose and monitor disease within their crop, remediate infected cultivars, provide stable genetics, and vigorous, disease-free clones. The management team is deeply experienced, with over 50 million plants supplied and counting, and has been focused on perfecting plant propagation for decades.

For further information about the Company and its solutions, please contact:

Simon James
3 Rivers Biotech Ltd.
[email protected]
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