Metabolomics: An Evolving Approach to Cannabis Breeding



Household produce varieties such as ‘Red Delicious,’ ‘Campari,’ and ‘Earlidew’ have been selectively bred and have been enhanced for flavor since the 1990’s because of small molecule profiling in conjunction with genomic and transcriptomic approaches. Metabolomics has also been utilized for selective breeding of Cannabis cultivars, but limited to a small number of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Equally important are the over 500 natural compounds that have been identified in Cannabis, many of which are unknown or understudied. This situation results in a poor understanding of metabolic systems critical to the plant’s flowering, resistance to disease/pests, and nutrient uptake. The advancements in analytical instrumentation and statistical methods allow for high-throughput screening of Cannabis cultivars that will contain superior agronomic traits and augmented therapeutic potentials.

Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will become familiar with analytical and statistical techniques commonly employed in metabolomics approaches.
2. Viewers will learn about the interaction of biochemical pathways in Cannabis cultivars and the importance of these interactions for selective and rapid breeding.

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