Eurofins Scientific, a global leader in bioanalytical testing, today announced a partnership with Medicinal Genomics Corp. (MGC), a pioneer in harnessing cannabis genomics to improve agricultural productivity, safety, and transparency of cannabis, to introduce a next generation high-density SNP chip for cannabis and hemp genotyping, breeding, and pathogen testing. The chip will aid customers with their efforts to breed cannabis cultivars that exhibit specific chemical profiles and disease resistant characteristics. The two companies will also use their extensive resources and expertise to make this predictive test available to both US and international customers.
“Eurofins has one of the largest agricultural testing infrastructures in the world, and it has become increasingly important to extend our services to the burgeoning global hemp market,” said Farhad Ghavami, CSO of Eurofins BioDiagnostics, Inc., a division of Eurofins Scientific. “We wanted the best genetic solution for our cannabis customers – something that can revolutionize breeding, genetic purity, and IP security of cannabis seeds. Therefore, finding the best partner whose expertise would stimulate the growth of this worldwide market was a key component. As the premier provider of genetic identification and solutions for the detection of microbes and genetic traits on the cannabis plant, Medicinal Genomics was the perfect choice.”
Tapping into Kannapedia®, the world’s largest cannabis genomic database, MGC has identified tens of thousands of high-impact coding SNPs that will be included on the Eurofins Cannabis Chip. Trait specific markers including 39 cannabinoid genes, markers for plant sex, chemotypes (I-IV), and disease resistance will be on the chip. These traits are the most important and relevant to the cannabis industry. The data from the chip can be further analyzed in Kannapedia to gather population frequencies, Bt:Bd allele coverage, heterozygosity, and the relatedness to other cultivars in the database.
“The SNP chip will serve as a powerful research tool for enabling more discoveries of quantitative traits and expanding the diversity of Cannabis cultivars assessed in genetic prediction. Our partnership with Eurofins is going to deliver all that and more,” said Brendan McKernan, Medicinal Genomics’ CEO. “Eurofins is the world’s leading agrigenomics provider. There’s no one better to help us extend our global reach. Needless to say we’re thrilled to have them as our worldwide partner.”
The chip will be particularly valuable to hemp growers striving to meet the new USDA <.03% THC regulations, as well as for breeding strains with genes that have been proven to be resistant to powdery mildew, a common and destructive pathogen. Breeding strains that exhibit these types of genetic expressions without the benefit of the underlying genetic information that identifies them as such is a tenuous endeavor at best.
MGC and Eurofins will officially launch the chip in 2020. The chip is available now for advance orders. Broad commercial US and international shipments are expected to begin in the first half of 2020. To pre-order the service, or for more information please email DNACannabis@eurofins.com