A new and improved genome sequence of Cannabis sativa
journal contributionposted on 2021-11-19, 00:45 authored by Shivraj BraichShivraj Braich, Rebecca C Baillie, German SpangenbergGerman Spangenberg, Noel CoganNoel Cogan
Cannabis is a diploid species (2n = 20), the estimated haploid genome sizes of the female and male plants using flow cytometry are 818 and 843 Mb respectively. Although the genome of Cannabis has been sequenced (from hemp, wild and high-THC strains), all assemblies have significant gaps. In addition, there are inconsistencies in the chromosome numbering which limits their use. A new comprehensive draft genome sequence assembly (∼900 Mb) has been generated from the medicinal cannabis strain Cannbio-2, that produces a balanced ratio of cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol using long-read sequencing. The assembly was subsequently analysed for completeness by ordering the contigs into chromosome-scale pseudomolecules using a reference genome assembly approach, annotated and compared to other existing reference genome assemblies. The Cannbio-2 genome sequence assembly was found to be the most complete genome sequence available based on nucleotides assembled and BUSCO evaluation in Cannabis sativa with a comprehensive genome annotation. The new draft genome sequence is an advancement in Cannabis genomics permitting pan-genome analysis, genomic selection as well as genome editing.