Researchers Unveil New Study on Genetically Modified Hemp Methods

in Culture

A recent study published in Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology analyzed the possibilities of genetically engineering cannabis to ensure consistency and targeting specifical cannabinoids.

In “Using Advanced Biotechnological Techniques to Improve Cannabis Cultivars,” researchers from the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Biological Sciences in Alberta, Canada, explored the benefits of gene editing in cannabis. “Inherent breeding limitations, genetic instability, and psychoactive compounds have impeded utilization, however, application of biotechnology tools such as molecular breeding, tissue culture, and genetic engineering can advance cannabis research and applications,” the study authors wrote. “With recent advancements, cannabis micropropagation can substantially increase multiplication rates while preserving genetic lines.”

Examples of genome editing tools include zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas systems, which can be used to manipulate or precisely modify a gene. Researchers noted that these methods of gene editing in cannabis are “promising tools” “for editing biosynthetic pathways to increase enzyme efficiency and the development of novel cannabis traits.”

Traditional cannabis cultivation methods aren’t fully reliable when trying to create a strain with a specific cannabinoid in mind and is influenced greatly by the growing environment and various methods of cultivation. Also the hindrance of federal law that prohibits hemp growers from cultivating their crop by limiting the percentage of THC. If a grower’s crops are tested above the legal threshold of 0.3% THC, then the crops must be destroyed.

According to researchers, the CRISPR method of editing could be especially useful in targeting specific cannabinoids. “A recently emerged CRISPR-based technique known as base editing holds significant promise for customizing alleles and comprehensively characterizing genes, leading to the creation of gain-of-function mutations” researchers wrote. 

The authors surmised that utilizing the CRISPR method would allow for scientists to manipulate the amount of …

Read More

Author: Nicole Potter / High Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Latest from Culture

0 $0.00
Go to Top