There are various factors that may have an effect on the stretch of the marijuana seedlings. They are either biotic or abiotic and they affect the growth changing the expression of the genotype. The area where the plant is situated might have a deficiency of nutrients, different temperatures or a day length that causes the seed to stretch.
Another thing that is vital is the origin of the seedling. If in its original place of growth the marijuana plant was indoors or if it promoted the growth of crowding plants, there is a chance that natural selection kept this trait in the seed’s genotype. Moreover, if those seeds were made by a ‘’Willy-nilly’’ crossing from hybrid plants, their offspring will be so variable that they will make the distinction of their phenotypes difficult.
Furthermore, there is SARP which is short for the term ‘’ shade avoidance response phenotype’’ which occurs when a plant stretches when competing for light. The plants stretch because of the fact that they want to reach the light which is stolen by their neighbours. They know that their neighbours are close when there is less of the colour red in the light that is reflected off. This shows that the plants are perfectly aware of their surroundings. A way of using a better light is by putting HPS lights which are placed in the red spectrum and if the plants are grown under such lights, they will stretch less.
What is more, the phenotype of the marijuana plants can vary according to the environment. However, it depends on other factors as well. The way the plant responds to red light can be spoilt be temperature or photoperiod. This will limit the phenotypes which are expressed. What is more, the factors that make a plant more sensitive to the quantity of red are denser planting, higher temperatures or shorter photoperiods. The environment in which the plant grows is very important.
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SARP occurs actually due to a mixture of abiotic factors which interact with the light quality. A stretched plant may have a larger size than this of another which grown under the full spectrum. However, the final amounts of yield will me much less. Growth under short photoperiod causes sensitivity to red while a long photoperiod causes stretching that does not depend on the spectrum due to the longer time provided to make the stem longer. Moreover, in longer photoperiods the health of the older plant is affected and the sensitivity to red is less.
In conclusion, the SARP is proof that each seedling knows its surroundings. Photoperiod does not affect SARP because if so, the seedling needs to have awareness of how dense the population is. However, growing in a day-length that is so short that can cause flowering of the plant, it will stretch. This type of plant is more expensive to grow due to the fact that the longer stem compensates for the smaller buds. This means that to prevent this one has to know what the best conditions to prevent plant stretching are.
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