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HiFi Sequencing of Cannabis sativa L. and other medicinal fungi: Accelerated breeding

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • CSO, Medicinal Genomics
    Biography

      Kevin is the CSO and Founder of Medicinal Genomics and has pioneered the genomics of cannabis and hemp to build a stronger scientific environment (Kannapedia.net) for the study of cannabis based therapeutics and blockchain technologies for tracking and verifying cannabis genetics. Previously, Kevin was the CSO of Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc., and was Vice President and Director of R&D of Life Technologies where he managed the development of Life Technologies next generation SOLiD sequencing technology. Integral to the SOLiD R&D process, Kevin oversaw over 100 research collaborations exploring the new biological frontiers with next generation sequencing and saw particular excitement and traction in human tumor sequencing. Kevin initiated an R&D project to investigate chemFET semiconductor based DNA sequencing and spearheaded a process to acquire the DNA sequencing company Ion Torrent for $350M. These collaborations resulted in hundreds of publications and 7 Journal covers from Science Translational Medicine to Nature.



      Kevin was the President and CSO of Agencourt Personal Genomics, a startup company he co-founded in 2005 to invent revolutionary sequencing technologies that dropped the cost of sequencing a human genome from $300M to $3,000; a 100,000-fold improvement in sequencing speed and cost in a few years. In 2000, Kevin Co-Founded Agencourt Biosciences Corporation and acted as the CSO until it was acquired by Beckman Coulter. Kevin also managed the R&D for the Human Genome Project at Whitehead Institute/MIT resulting in several patents for nucleic acid purification. Kevin holds a B.S. in Biology from Emory University with a focus on cloning and expressing Norepinephrine Transporters.  When not decoding DNA and unraveling the mysteries of cannabis medicine, Kevin enjoy boating, skiing, and gardening.


    Abstract

    The utilization of high fidelity long read sequencing is critical for the resolution of repetitive genomes. Cannabis sativa is known to be diploid (2n=20), 70% repetitive, 64% AT rich and 1% polymorphic. The chemotypic genes (CBDAS, THCAS, CBCAS) governing cannabinoid synthesis are buried in multiple megabase LTR forests. High fidelity long read sequencers resolve these repetitive regions and enable genotypic classification of chemical expression. Pathogen resistance genes are equally important to the prediction of cannabinoid yield. Utilizing Pacific Biosciences HiFi sequencing, we construct reference grade genomes that enable population surveys of diverse chemotypes and pathogen resistant cultivars. We demonstrate the use of HiFi reads to resolve both complex medicinal plant genomes like Cannabis sativa L. and the rapid resolution of the medicinal fungal genome Psilocybe cubensis.


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