Epigenetic effects causing mutations of the Original OG Kush “clone only cut”

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The original Og Kush clone has finally started showing signs of epigenetic changes after cloning a mother plant that has been stressed, especially with irregular watering cycles of drought. This clone has been around for almost 30 years and it’s been most durable & robust over time until now.

Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. What does that mean? It means that dna and gene expression can change due to stressors in the environment. The plant itself morphs itself and changes its genes and dna to accommodate its stressors in the environment causing the plant to change the way it reproduces it’s branching pattern. So when you clone that mutated plant you get a cut the same to it and you cannot go back to the original clone be it that it’s still the same clone. This could explain why growers that have the same cut from the same original mother plant could have 2 different phenos that do not look the same in structure. The only thing that I’ve noticed to stay consistent is that the buds tend to stay consistent in smell and taste but the buds from the mutated Og cut tends to not be as dense and crystallized but it’s still the Original Og Kush cut because the smell and taste is the same

I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic and it’s a fairly new field that is being studied at the present moment. What we have learned is that the older the clone gets the more the more susceptible it becomes to epigenetic changes. The problem is that if the plant experiences an epigenetic change, the clones you take from that plant will keep the same mutation over and over. There is no way to fix this unless you go back to cloning a clone that has the original characteristics of the cut.

I remember 10-20 years ago I could stress the plant and take a clone and revive a new mother plant with no problem but over time I started to notice a weird mutation in the branching pattern of the original Og Kush clone. Basically what happens is that it does not branch out like it normally does and instead of branches growing vertically they tend to bow down and grow horizontally. I went from hitting 3+ pounds per 1000 watt de fixture to 2 pounds per light. Less branches means less bud sites, therefore less overall weight in the end.

The reason why this happens is due to stress in watering cycles. Letting the mother plant or plant go through a drought where it almost dies and wilts is the sure way to bring about this mutation in an old clone that has 25+ years. The mutation is called the creeper mutation and it is common in tropical SATIVA dominant cannabis. You don’t recognize the mutation when the cuts are small but start to notice it when they get to about 2-3 ft tall.

The first image attached is the beginning of the mutation. Notice how the branching pattern is sparse and not vertical.

The second image attached is an example of a normal Og Kush plant and you can clearly see way more branches and they are all vertical going straight up.

I have found that the best way to avoid this mutation is to not keep mother plants for too long but the best way to avoid it is to take cuts from the fresh healthy veg. I take the healthiest tops from the healthiest plants and the clone proves to keep it vigor and robustness.

If you keep cloning off the mutated plant the clones keep getting worse over time and eventually end up looking like the third image attached.

Has anyone experienced something similar with a very old cut? Does anyone else have the original Og Kush cut and are they having the same issue?



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What I’ve learned so far from the research I’ve done is that the older the clone becomes the more susceptible it becomes to expressing genetic mutations or better said phenos of the same clone. The DNA sequence can be identical but the the new pheno it expresses is most likely a survival mechanism trait of an aged clone.

While there isn’t much research on cannabis because it was illegal before there is plenty of research on other plants and trees. So to sum things up. If you have a very old cannabis clone, then you better baby it and make sure it’s kept in an ideal stress free environment. That’s the key 🔑 assuming you want to keep it producing the same consistent buds that it has become popular for. If you don’t you may lose the qualities that the clone is known for. While phenos are common when popping seeds of the same strain and genotype, research is showing that phenos can also arise from a clone that’s been stressed. It may be a good thing in producing something new and unique but most likely a bad thing if you already have a prize winning pheno in the original cut.
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Interesting. I have grown the same strain for 30+ years but not using clones except for the last 2 grows. It is a Sativa strain but I haven't seen this happen, although I grow with a ton of side lighting, which seems to encourage branching. The 2nd pics almost look like bamboo growing and I noticed that the 2nd set of pics didn't show the alternate growth pattern that most plants seem to progress into after growing from parallel growth of new shoots... like a plant started from see grows for the 1st month.
For a Sativa, especially a tropical variety, since there isn't much of a change between growing seasons, this would make for an alternate process to create new offspring... if flowering doesn't work well and the plant can live more as a perennial as opposed to an annual, then the stretching, drooping, and subsequent re-rooting of the branches can cause the same end result... more copies of itself. If the new plants have better luck flowering and make seeds, then the process could restart.
I have noticed that some Sativas will die after flowering, but if they don't go into flowering, then they tend to live forever. I don't know if the phenom could be related or not, but evolution wise, it sounds like a viable reproductive strategy that might be built into the genetic code... and triggered by lack of flowering? I agree that this is an interesting process that deserves more attention.
 

Jack og

JackOG
Staff member
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Luckily I still have seeds off the original cuts. If u have the ability to cross it back via feminism, u can save her . But sadly I do see this very same phenomenon in many dire strains nowadays
 
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Interesting. I have grown the same strain for 30+ years but not using clones except for the last 2 grows. It is a Sativa strain but I haven't seen this happen, although I grow with a ton of side lighting, which seems to encourage branching. The 2nd pics almost look like bamboo growing and I noticed that the 2nd set of pics didn't show the alternate growth pattern that most plants seem to progress into after growing from parallel growth of new shoots... like a plant started from see grows for the 1st month.
For a Sativa, especially a tropical variety, since there isn't much of a change between growing seasons, this would make for an alternate process to create new offspring... if flowering doesn't work well and the plant can live more as a perennial as opposed to an annual, then the stretching, drooping, and subsequent re-rooting of the branches can cause the same end result... more copies of itself. If the new plants have better luck flowering and make seeds, then the process could restart.
I have noticed that some Sativas will die after flowering, but if they don't go into flowering, then they tend to live forever. I don't know if the phenom could be related or not, but evolution wise, it sounds like a viable reproductive strategy that might be built into the genetic code... and triggered by lack of flowering? I agree that this is an interesting process that deserves more attention.
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Great point. This is an example of the way the old cut should look. It’s a very sativa like looking plant that tends to produce hard dense nugs. During flowering it produces many 3 blade leaves. I have back crossed the original Og Kush clone 13 times and it produces consistent phenos 80% of the time being almost identical like the original cut in clone only form. Without having a herm problem.

Every now and then some of the seeds popped come out a little different usually smell and taste wise but it’s not a bad thing. I just haven’t given up on the clone either. It’s become sensitive and I’ve had a problem with Mothers mutating if not kept in perfect environment so we just clone of the veg and others who run my cut in the multiple spots I have don’t have my eye to spot them when they are young and cloning from the mutated phenos keeps them in the mix with the normal cuts. So it has had to come back to me handling the whole cloning process to eliminate these phenos from the mix. These are some of the problems one can experience when having multiple facilities with employees. If it was just me at my house doing this as a hobby. I’m sure it wouldn’t be an issue.
 
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@Jimster as far as the mention of branches growing like bamboo And stretching. I see that happening in rooms where they veg with hps bulbs. Vegging with mh bulbs I don’t see that issue.
 
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This is an example of the Og Kush that has been mutated to a creeper. Notice the bud structure and how they grow.
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Here are other examples of different creeper strains. Notice the similarities in how the buds grow.
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I’ve been noticing a lot of people refer to this phenomena as duds. Some claim it comes from a virus and some saying broad mites.

if it were mites you would see it spread over time. Same thing with a virus. No you may claim there are viruses that don’t spread from plant to plant but this does not explain how a normal mother plant that was initially producing healthy clones, start a producing duds when no other plants have been introduced or there is no present mechanism to transfer the virus. The commons theme is that duds seem to form after plants experience traumatic stressors within their environment that bring out phenos within the genotype that cause cannabis mutations. Something we see common in Og Kush clones that have been around for a long time.

Can’t be a virus and can’t be bacteria or disease. The underlying cause is stress and epigenetic effects of plants responding to the stressors. Which leads to the creeper mutation most describe as the dud plant producing irregular branching patterns that bow down towards the ground. Stems tend to snap and not bend.
 
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Now there is some research of viruses causing this phenomena
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ive seen that before but it was the result of cloning a mutant over several generations thinking they were gonna fix and they just kept getting worse over time. Cannabis plants can have them viruses in them that are dormant and something like stress can bring it out. Which goes back to epigenetics causing viruses to wake up and causing changes in a gene expression. Very interesting stuff.

 

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