Deciphering the cannabis genome

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A company plans on unlocking the cannabis genome to create new strains

NRGene has spent more than two years mapping over 400 genomes in cannabis crops. Its proprietary technology has helped decipher the entire makeup of the California-based Kayagene and the company is moving forward with the knowledge to create new strains that are able to deliver specific compounds while allowing for a greater degree of adaption for agricultural production on an industrial scale.

The goal is to help zero in on the exact medicinal components of cannabis that provide the greatest relief. According to NRGene’s co-founder and president, Gil Ronen, “Thanks to classic cannabis breeding and repeatedly crossing various varieties, there are some varieties (strains) in the market with high concentrations of THC, CBD and industrial hemp strains high in CBD and very low in THC. However, there are dozens of other commercially important traits that could vastly improve cannabis for growers and processors—from disease resistance and plant architecture to unique chemical contents. Those traits are hidden in the vast genomic diversity of cannabis, where probably 99% of it has not yet been revealed.”

The company is going to make great strides in cannabis genomics and breeding over the next several years, thanks to its genome mapping accuracy and marker discoveries. This will lead to further development of tailor-made plants, which are vital in medicinal and industrial applications, and can help lower production costs.

Ronen adds, “Our fully-phased genomes in cannabis breeding reveals the hidden secrets of diverse cannabis strains and enable us to efficiently implement discoveries for future treatments of multiple human medical conditions.”