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That Guy

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Polyploidy in Cannabis
    #822739 - 01/17/17 08:23 PM (2 years, 7 months ago)

Is there any documentation of attempts to induce polyploidy in cannabis? Everything that I've read claims that the vast majority of cannabis is still diploid (the normal 2 sets of chromosomes, one set from each parent), suggesting that the entirety of the increased cannabinoid content in modern marijuana strains is due to changes to the genome, rather than having multiple copies of the genome available in each plant cell.

This Article, or rather its abstract seems to suggest that an odd number of chromosome copies in Cannabis sativa leads to higher secondary metabolite production than an even-number of chromosomes (diploid/tetraploid). The article also give a very vague idea of how to apply colchicine in order to maximize rate of polyploidy.

As an alternative method, protoplast fusion can also be used to induce either same plant polyploids (fusing cells cultured from the same plant, or cells from different strains cannabis, also known as autopolyploidy), or from closely related plant species (such as cannabis and hops, also known as allopolyploidy). I have discussed the latter in previous threads, with some differences in technique (such as working with haploid gamete cells rather than diploid cell cultures, in order to keep detection of fusants easy and cheap (via auxotrophic selection of gametes). More tedious and equipment-limited techniques could also be utilized to get around the pain-in-the-assedness of gamete isolation (chromosome counting of surviving cell colonies and whatnot).

It should be noted that tetraploidy is not the limit of this technique. Some commercial hybrid varieties of sugar cane are dodecapoloids (12 sets of chromosomes). If a single successful tetraploid or triploid strain could be induced and grown out, then tissue cultures from this plant could be re-fused again to get an octoploid or hexaploid culture, and this could be re-fused to generate a hexadecaploid or dodecaploid culture. These various 2x, 3x, 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, and 16x strains could be sexually crossed with each other to yield various intermediate 10x and 14x plants, as well as infertile 5x, 7x, 11x, 13x, and 15x mixoploids. This final subset of polyploids seem to show the most promise for maximum cannabinoid content, but with the miniscule amount of real data on the issue, who knows what would show up :shrug:

Anyway, I'm extremely interested in doing some real analysis into cannabis genetics, both the genomic differences between various extreme marijuana characteristics (flavor profiles, color profiles, various cannabinoid content, nature of the high, and yield potential), as well as the effects on various degrees of polyploidy. I currently don't have the resources to even start tissue cultures, let alone protoplasts. However, I will continue to post regarding these topics as I get motivated, in the hopes that I'll be able to come back to these ideas once I do manage to procure a few pieces of lab equipment and build a laminar flow hood.


If you've attempted any of this, have read anything on the subject, or just want to jump into a brainstorming session on this, please comment. I'd love to see some of this become a reality, even if its not coming directly from me. :pipesmoke:

“The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you” -NDT

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Re: Polyploidy in Cannabis [Re: Data]
    #822953 - 01/24/17 06:09 PM (2 years, 6 months ago)

This is some cutting-edge stuff that i know very little about!

Interested in how this turns out :popcorn:

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Cannabis, Marijuana, Ganja & Greens >> Cannabis Cultivation

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