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Recent advances in Cannabis sativa genomics research

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Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) is one of the oldest cultivated plants purported to have unique medicinal properties. However, scientific research of cannabis has been restricted by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, an international treaty that prohibits the production and supply of narcotic drugs except under license. Legislation governing cannabis cultivation for research, medicinal and even recreational purposes has been relaxed recently in certain jurisdictions. As a result, there is now potential to accelerate cultivar development of this multi-use and potentially medically useful plant species by application of modern genomics technologies. Whilst genomics has been pivotal to our understanding of the basic biology and molecular mechanisms controlling key traits in several crop species, much work is needed for cannabis. In this review we provide a comprehensive summary of key cannabis genomics resources and their applications. We also discuss prospective applications of existing and emerging genomics technologies for accelerating the genetic improvement of cannabis.


This work was funded by the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Hub in Medicinal Agriculture (IH180100006), institutional and industry partners. Cann Group Limited are partners within the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Hub in Medicinal Agriculture.


Publication Date



New Phytologist





Article Number



17p. (p. 73-89)





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