1314375_Steel,L_2023.pdf (9.26 MB)
Comparative genomics of flowering behavior in Cannabis sativa
journal contributionposted on 2023-12-18, 23:23 authored by Laura SteelLaura Steel, Matthew WellingMatthew Welling, Nicole RistevskiNicole Ristevski, Kim JohnsonKim Johnson, Anthony GendallAnthony Gendall
Cannabis sativa L. is a phenotypically diverse and multi-use plant used in the production of fiber, seed, oils, and a class of specialized metabolites known as phytocannabinoids. The last decade has seen a rapid increase in the licit cultivation and processing of C. sativa for medical end-use. Medical morphotypes produce highly branched compact inflorescences which support a high density of glandular trichomes, specialized epidermal hair-like structures that are the site of phytocannabinoid biosynthesis and accumulation. While there is a focus on the regulation of phytocannabinoid pathways, the genetic determinants that govern flowering time and inflorescence structure in C. sativa are less well-defined but equally important. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underly flowering behavior is key to maximizing phytocannabinoid production. The genetic basis of flowering regulation in C. sativa has been examined using genome-wide association studies, quantitative trait loci mapping and selection analysis, although the lack of a consistent reference genome has confounded attempts to directly compare candidate loci. Here we review the existing knowledge of flowering time control in C. sativa, and, using a common reference genome, we generate an integrated map. The co-location of known and putative flowering time loci within this resource will be essential to improve the understanding of C. sativa phenology.