Navigation Links
How hemp got high: Canadian scientists map the cannabis genome
Date:10/18/2011

A team of Canadian researchers has sequenced the genome of Cannabis sativa, the plant that produces both industrial hemp and marijuana, and in the process revealed the genetic changes that led to the plant's drug-producing properties.

Jon Page is a plant biochemist and adjunct professor of biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He explains that a simple genetic switch is likely responsible for the production of THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, the precursor of the active ingredient in marijuana.

"The transcriptome analysis showed that the THCA synthase gene, an essential enzyme in THCA production, is turned on in marijuana, but switched off in hemp," Page says.

Tim Hughes, co-leader of the project, is a professor at the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research and the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He explains the team compared the potent Purple Kush marijuana variety with 'Finola' hemp, which is grown for seed production. Hemp lacks THCA, but does contain another, non-psychoactive substance called CBDA, or cannabidiolic acid.

"Detailed analysis of the two genomes suggests that domestication, cultivation, and breeding of marijuana strains has caused the loss of the enzyme (CBDA synthase), which would otherwise compete for the metabolites used as starting material in THCA production," Hughes says.

Essentially, this means that over thousands of years of cultivation, hemp farmers selectively bred Cannabis sativa into two distinct strains one for fibre and seed, and one for medicine. Marijuana has been used medicinally for more than 2,700 years, and continues to be explored for its pharmaceutical potential.

"Plants continue to be a major source of medicines, both as herbal drugs and as pharmaceutical compounds," Page says. "Although more than 20 plant genomes have been published, ranging from major food crops such as rice and corn, to laboratory models like Arabidopsis, this is the first genome of a medicinal plant."

The researchers expect that sequencing the Cannabis sativa genome will help answer basic questions about the biology of the plant as well as furthering development of its myriad applications. These include strains for pharmaceutical production, high-producing industrial hemp plants, and hemp seed varieties to produce high-quality edible oil. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 6, an essential fatty acid, and its fibre is used in the production of textiles.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Robin
michael.robin@usask.ca
306-966-1425
University of Saskatchewan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. C-Section Rate in U.S. Climbs to All-Time High: Report
2. Death rate from tuberculosis in homeless alarmingly high: Study
3. Fatal crashes in the US: Fewer Canadian drivers under the influence
4. Skin color matters when it comes to Canadians health: UBC study
5. Most Canadians can be uniquely identified from their date of birth and postal code
6. US physician practices spend 4 times Canadian practices
7. US physicians spend nearly 4 times more on health insurance costs than Canadian counterparts
8. New Canadian blood pressure education program a powerful tool in fight to reduce stroke
9. Medicare improved Canadian doctors salaries: Queens University study
10. Canadians should demand commitments for pharmacare program, says CMAJ
11. CMAJ calls on federal government to protect Canadians from unsafe drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... ... Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced over 359,000 clinicians ... Clinicians who participate in APMs are paid for the quality of care they give ... build a system that delivers better care and one in which clinicians work together ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... ... Next week after January 20th, the fear for many is that the humane ... of over 30 million. Many interviews with Dr. Carol Francis at the Los Angeles ... suppose to prioritize. Interviews provided below. , Among those present was Senator ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... With the cold weather here, many people will have to clear snow ... clearing large amounts of snow, but they can be dangerous when used incorrectly. That’s why ... Commission for the proper use of snow blowers:, , When removing ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Ca (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... events for tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, announces the ... offers users a quick and easy portal to research breakthroughs and trending news, ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Remote Medical Technologies ... impressive transportable capabilities with their iMedHD2™ Portable Teleultrasound System. Compatible ... technology that delivers HD, dynamic, streaming ultrasound images and video to one or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017  Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. ... Medical Products, Inc., a privately held medical ... electrosurgical tools used in operating rooms worldwide. ... Ethicon,s* advanced energy devices with Megadyne,s innovative ... step forward in Ethicon,s goal to deliver ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Future" report to their offering. ... This research service on the global pharmaceutical ... provides a snapshot of the key participants in the market. ... from 2016 to 2020. The market is expected to grow at ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Wells Specialty Pharmacy announces the acquisitions ... Rd in Winter Park, Florida and ... . Operations have been consolidated into the 3796 Howell Branch ... to announce that Chad Tomlinson , former Vice President ... effective immediately. Mr. Tomlinson is a Graduate of Florida State ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: