Genes (Basel). 2021 Feb 4;12(2):228. doi: 10.3390/genes12020228.
The regulation of cannabinoid synthesis in Cannabis sativa is of increasing research interest as restrictions around the globe loosen to allow the plant’s legal cultivation. Of the major cannabinoids, the regulation of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) production is the least understood. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the inheritance of CBGA dominance in C. sativa and describe a marker related to this chemotype. We produced two crossing populations, one between a CBGA dominant cultivar and a tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) dominant cultivar, and one between a CBGA dominant cultivar and a cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) cultivar. Chemical and genotyping analyses confirmed that CBGA dominance is inherited as a single recessive gene, potentially governed by a non-functioning allelic variant of the THCA synthase. The « null » THCAS synthase contains a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that may render the synthase unable to convert CBGA to THCA leading to the accumulation of CBGA. This SNP can be reliably used as a molecular marker for CBGA dominance in the selection and breeding of C. sativa.