Australian scientists claim a world first with deep insight into cannabis | The Grenfell Record


Victorian agronomists claim a world first by deciphering the genetic code of medicinal cannabis.

The scientists say their advanced DNA analysis has created the most complete genomic reference in the world.

Not all cannabis strains are created equal.

Victoria aims to become Australia’s cannabis production home with planned investments in Mildura, Melbourne and Shepparton.

Victoria was the first state to legalize the use of medical cannabis in 2016.

In 2018-19, Agriculture Victoria scientists sequenced 50 trillion DNA bases.

Thanks to advances in technology, the same amount can now be made in just three weeks, equivalent to 60,000 cannabis genomes or 66,000 chickpea genomes.

Most other states and territories are also trying to keep up with the cannabis boom with Western Australia’s Little Green Pharma on board and a rush to hemp production in the Northern Territory.

Agriculture Victoria has already developed cannabis strains for commercial production, particularly for the Cann Group.

Victorian agronomists claim a world first with a DNA mapping of the cannabis genome. Image: Agriculture Victoria.

Medical cannabis companies focus on oils, pills, and nasal sprays that health experts say can be used to treat chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.

The products are currently heavily regulated in Australia, with patients having access to cannabis oil and other products if their doctors apply for a prescription.

Victorian Agriculture Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas said DNA mapping of cannabis would enable faster, precision breeding of medicinal cannabis.

Laboratories in Victoria have been equipped with technology to precisely measure and quantify cannabinoids and are used by Victorian scientists to identify the strains with the best medicinal properties.

The aim is to improve the results of plant breeding programs.

For the past four years, researchers in Victoria have developed new tools that have made it possible to extract genetic information from medicinal cannabis strains around the world.

This information could then be entered into a database.

This means that scientists can link millions of DNA markers to traits such as growth rate, bud size, and disease resistance, and test plants quickly and cheaply to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

This story Australian scientists claim a world first with an in-depth look at cannabis first appeared on Farm Online.


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