Front Genome Ed. 2022 Feb 2;4:823486. doi: 10.3389/fgeed.2022.823486. eCollection 2022.


Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a multipurpose crop with many important uses including medicine, fibre, food and biocomposites. This plant is currently gaining prominence and acceptance for its valuable applications. Hemp is grown as a cash crop for its novel cannabinoids which are estimated to be a multibillion-dollar downstream market. Hemp cultivation can play a major role in carbon sequestration with good CO2 to biomass conversion in low input systems and can also improve soil health and promote phytoremediation. The recent advent of genome editing tools to produce non-transgenic genome-edited crops with no trace of foreign genetic material has the potential to overcome regulatory hurdles faced by genetically modified crops. The use of Artificial Intelligence – mediated trait discovery platforms are revolutionizing the agricultural industry to produce desirable crops with unprecedented accuracy and speed. However, genome editing tools to improve the beneficial properties of hemp have not yet been deployed. Recent availability of high-quality Cannabis genome sequences from several strains (cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol balanced and CBD/THC rich strains) have paved the way for improving the production of valuable bioactive molecules for the welfare of humankind and the environment. In this context, the article focuses on exploiting advanced genome editing tools to produce non-transgenic hemp to improve the most industrially desirable traits. The challenges, opportunities and interdisciplinary approaches that can be adopted from existing technologies in other plant species are highlighted.

PMID:35187530 | PMC:PMC8847435 | DOI:10.3389/fgeed.2022.823486

Source: ncbi

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