Plant genetics can be coached to express varying concentrations of cannabinoids, but the relative ratios of the key cannabinoids, THCA and CBDA, are usually genetically determined. As an example, there are no known agricultural methods to make a CBDA-dominant strain become a THCA-dominant strain via environmental conditions. These critical chemotypes are governed by gene knock outs in their respective enzymatic synthases (CDBA Synthase and THCA Synthase).
Use Genetic Screening to Determine Plant Type
Most cannabis plants can be classified into four groups based on their cannabinoids profiles: THCA-dominant Type I plants, THCA:CBDA hybrid Type II plants, CBDA dominant Type III plants, and CBG-dominant Type IV plants. Cultivators can use genetic screening tools that detect whether the THCA synthase gene and/or the CBDA synthase gene is present in a plant. Different combinations of results on the respective tests will indicate the plant type.
*Plants that test negative for THCA or CBDA may still produce low percentages (<2%) of either compound.
Powered by youPCR®
Medicinal Genomics offers THCA synthase and CBDA synthase detection tests that run on the youPCR® Plant Screening Platform. Plant DNA is obtained from a small hole punch in the leaf. If the DNA sample contains the target sequence, a chemical reaction will turn the pink solution yellow, indicating a positive result.
Getting Started with youPCR is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Although we have done some initial research into using youPCR to test seeds, we have not done enough to confidently say it works as well as testing leaf. We recommend sampling a seedling’s first set of true leaves when using youPCR.
youPCR assays provide a positive/negative result. When using youPCR to screen for CBDA or THCA synthase, a positive result means there is an active CBDA or THCA synthase allele. Unfortunately, that result can’t be used to predict what percentage the plant will ultimately produce. However, if you combine the CBDA and THCA tests you can determine the plant type.
- Type I Plant (THCA-dominant) = THCA(+) CBDA(-)
- Type II Plant (THCA:CBDA hybrid) = THCA(+) CBDA (+)
- Type III Plant (CBDA-dominant) = THCA(-) CBDA(+)
- Type IV Plant (CBGA-dominant) = THCA(-) CBDA(-)
No. Plants that test negative for THCA or CBDA may still produce low percentages (<2%) of either compound.
No. Cannabis plants typically hermie as a response to stress. Although there may be genetic markers that determine if a plant is more likely to hermie, we have not found them, and we do not target them with our gender test. The youPCR Gender Assay specifically looks for a Y chromosome.
The youPCR Starter Kits do not include PCR Thermal Cyclers. We recommend the following models:
- MiniAmp Thermal Cycler from ThermoFisher. Use Promo Code “D2215899” to receive a discount off list price.
- miniPCR. Use Promo Code “MGC” to receive a discount off list price.
The youPCR Starter Kits also do not include chemical reagents: Solution A, Solution B, Solution C, and Positive Control. Those must be purchased separately on the Medicinal Genomics web store.
In order to successfully test with youPCR, you should have experience with the following laboratory techniques/best practices:
- Liquid handling with a pipette
- Benchtop sterility techniques
- Proper disposal of tips, punches, strip tubes
All of the chemicals and reagents we sell in our webstore are manufactured in facilities that are certified to ISO 9001 and/or ISO 13485 standards.