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GenKit 2.0: Expanded genetic and biochemical testing of cannabis sativa

Published: Dec 10, 2019   

The need for rapid, high-throughput genomic screening methods has become increasingly relevant for Cannabis Sativa especially with the expansion of commercial Hemp in the US. The ability to distinguish individual cultivars in a breeding population through real-time diagnostic High-Resolution Melt (HRM) Genotyping will be discussed.

Steep Hill offers a suite of genotyping tools through the GenKit and Phenosight services as well as provides custom genetic services for in-depth analysis of cultivars. GenKit allows a Cannabis grower or breeder the ability to send in samples to Steep Hill for genetic testing from anywhere in the world using a GE distributed FTA Plant Saver card. Samples arrive to the genetics lab for DNA isolation and HRM marker analysis. The customer can pay for individual genotype tests or test packages of several commercially relevant biomarkers, which also can be combined with HPLC chemical phenotype analysis of their samples. GenKit offers several cannabinoid synthase markers (THCAS, CBDAS, and CBCAS) that also can be purchased individually or in a panel.

A requirement for Hemp breeding is the need to verify low THC production in individuals, however, some Hemp breeders also seek to evaluate CBDa:THCa ratios as a measure of synthase activity, to further individual identification, and for selective breeding. The combination of HPLC and GCMS analytical methods and genetic tools, as offered in the Phenosight offering allow to turn active research in biochemical activity of cannabinoid and terpenoid synthases into tools customers can use to make better choices with respect to the synthase activity and phenotype potential in their cannabis.

Through this research, Steep Hill are on the path of deploying an expanded genetic and biochemical system specific to all types of Cannabis sativa that allows identification and screening of cannabinoid production-potential and genetic variation of various cultivars.

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