Thanks to funding from the DASH network, Medicinal Genomics is currently working on a project to create a more complete cannabis reference genome. Medicinal Genomics was the first company to sequence the cannabis genome in 2011, but the limitations in sequencing technology left some of the genetic information incomplete. Fast forward to 2018 and Pacific Biosciences now has tools that can sequence 20,000-100,000 base pair reads with single molecule sequencing.
In the video below, Chief Science Officer Kevin McKernan reveals that the Medicinal Genomics team has surpassed the standard set by the Human Genome Project in 2001. Although their analysis isn’t complete, the team has already determined that CBDA Synthase and THCA Synthase are located on the same stretch of sequence and the total size of the cannabis genome is approximately 1 billion bases long. Download the assembly file here.
These new insights into the cannabis genome have implications across the entire cannabis industry. For example, researchers will be able to better identify markers for cannabinoid and terpenoid synthesis. Regulators and distributors will also be able to build a better system for categorizing and fingerprinting strains.
Watch the video below to learn more about this project, and be sure to purchase tickets to CannMed 2018 where McKernan will share the team’s latest findings!