Marijuana is an ancient plant, but we’re only beginning to unravel its DNA

1-30-2019 med pot
Image credit: Prague Pot

For a plant humans have grown and transported around the world for thousands of years—utilizing its precious seeds, flowers, resin, and fibers in myriad ways—we sure don’t know much about cannabis. Only recently have scientists begun to identify its chemical compounds and other properties with any degree of accuracy. Patients and doctors have designed their own ad hoc treatments, but serious clinical trials are few and far between, both in the U.S. and abroad.

As scientists and researchers begin to unravel the tangled and convoluted codes of cannabis genotypes, new light is shed on the most infamously hybridized plant on the planet. For farmers and breeders who want to settle scores, DNA-mapping projects will provide more clarity about what’s what in the cannasphere and who really developed some of the industry’s most prized strains.

Related article:  Talking Biotech: How USAID uses GMO crops to improve food security around the world

Mowgli Holmes has been working to map cannabis genotypes at his Portland, Oregon, company Phylos since 2014. As cannabis growers across the world send samples for testing, Phylos employs modern molecular genetics and computational biology to create a “galaxy” visually representing hundreds of cannabis cultivars and how they relate to each other….

Read full, original article: The Cannabis Plant: an Unfolding Story in Genetics

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