Understanding Microbial Outbreaks

Do you have a microbial outbreak? If so, a speciation screen can help you better understand what is happening in your grow.

Picture this: You submitted a sample for microbial testing. You get the results back and you see that you’ve failed for yeast/mold contamination. You may be feeling that all hope is lost, but in reality, there are many steps you can take to save your grow. First and foremost, you should figure out what microbe(s) may be infesting your crop. This can be accomplished through a Speciation Screen. 

You may be wondering – what is Speciation? To put it simply, Speciation is a process that identifies specific organisms that may be the cause of a microbial failure. When that sample failed the initial microbiological screen, the data provided showed the total amount of organisms present in the sample but did not provide any specific species. With Speciation, our scientists are able to weed through and identify the multiple organisms that may be present in the sample and causing a failure.

So why does this matter? By identifying the probable cause of your contamination, you can hone in on the right remediation process for you. Through targeted remediation, you can often reduce the specific organism causing failures while avoiding damage to your operation. This process can also be helpful for those who haven’t yet had a failure but have visual indications of contamination, such as bud rot.

How does it work?

When a sample fails, clients are given a window of time to decide if they want to move forward with speciation. If the lab is given the green light, our team will use the failed sample to take any unidentified yeast and mold contaminants from a culture medium and extract the DNA. After the DNA is extracted, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to create multiple copies of the sample DNA. 

Those copies then go through a process called Sanger Sequencing, where the bases of the DNA are identified and labeled. This sequencing process creates a genetic code that can be matched to other known microbial sequences. Just like the barcodes you see at the grocery store, each code is used to identify a specific species. Once we have identified the species contaminating your grow, our team will work with you to recommend remediation strategies and future preventative measures.

What else is there to know?

If you are interested in speciation here are a couple of points to remember. 

Room For Improvement:

No matter your experience level, this screen has the potential to elevate your operation. Knowing the potential microorganisms that may be infesting your cultivation will not only allow you to hone in on certain areas that are lacking but also help you develop a solid preventative strategy. Any environment can be susceptible to an outbreak, so it could be beneficial to know ahead of time if your environment is a breeding ground for harmful pathogens. 

Remediating Efficiently:

When you discover an underlying problem in your facility, it is natural to panic and immediately Google strategies that claim to be the cure to your situation.  However, generalized remediation techniques tend to be unsuccessful because mold organisms will respond differently to each unique technique. 

Some remediation methods may even promote the growth of certain fungal species, such as bleach-based cleaning techniques. Identifying the specific organism causing your failures allows you to take on a more targeted, precise, and effective remediation approach, saving you money and time. 

Continuous Support: 

Once an issue has been identified, our Microbiological team is available to support and consult as you tackle the problem, 

For those with severe outbreaks, our team is available to inspect your facility and offer more customized counsel. 

For more info on Speciation and how to request this screen, click here

Ready to start testing?

Testing with MCR Labs is fast and easy. Check out all the laboratories in our network!

Find a Lab
Cookies are used on this site and installed on your device to assist with page navigation, delivering content tailored to your interests, and for analyzing your use of our service to improve user experience. To learn about our cookies and your privacy, click here.