A complete Cannabis chromosome assembly and adaptive admixture for elevated cannabidiol (CBD) content
5th November 2018 - BioRxiv
Cannabis has been cultivated for millennia with distinct cultivars providing either fiber and grain or tetrahydrocannabinol. Recent demand for cannabidiol rather than tetrahydrocannabinol has favored the breeding of admixed cultivars with extremely high cannabidiol content. Despite several draft Cannabis genomes, the genomic structure of cannabinoid synthase loci has remained elusive. A genetic map derived from a tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol segregating population and a complete chromosome assembly from a high-cannabidiol cultivar together resolve the linkage of cannabidiolic and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase gene clusters which are associated with transposable elements. High-cannabidiol cultivars appear to have been generated by integrating hemp-type cannabidiolic acid synthase gene clusters into a background of marijuana-type cannabis. Quantitative trait locus mapping suggests that overall drug potency, however, is associated with other genomic regions needing additional study.