Special Issue "Genetics and Functional Genomics in Cannabis sativa, L."
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2022 | Viewed by 15576
Interests: Cannabis sativa secondary metabolism: identification and isolation of the structural and regulatory genes involved in cannabinoid, terpens, and flavonoids biosynthesis and accumulation. Valorisation of hemp waste as a source for the production of new biochemicals of pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, and manufacturing interests. In vitro culture and micropropopagation of medical Cannabis. Influence of photoperiod on flowering time and seed set in Cannabis sativa
Cannabis sativa L. is a fascinating and, at the same time, controversial plant widely cultivated for diverse uses, spanning from the production of paper and textiles to pharmaceutical applications. Moreover, it is a low input, high sustainable crop, matching with bioeconomy principles and perfectly fitting in the current scenario of the climate crisis.
The recent interest in Cannabis cultivation, for a long time a neglected plant, derives from the fact that, in addition to being a good source of both cellulosic and woody fibers, it is particularly rich in secondary metabolites, conferring a high added-value to this plant. Female inflorescences are sources of peculiar bioactive compounds, but there are also phytocomplexes in which the beneficial activities of single molecules are potentiated by a synergic effect of the blend made of cannabinoids, terpens, and flavonoids. The molecular comprehension of their biosynthesis and regulation in Cannabis will allow for manipulating their content and to develop markers for breeding. Female inflorescences also produce seeds characterized by flavors and oil composition valuable for human consumption. The increase in grain yield and seed quality are important goals for hemp breeding, and require a deeper knowledge of the basic plant and floral biology, also at the molecular level.
In recent years, a great deal of Cannabis genomic and transcriptomic data have became available, providing the hemp research community with fundamental tools to identify target genes of interest, and with databases to interrogate in the search of candidate genes for a number of traits. Despite significant progress, however, much remains unknown regarding Cannabis genetics and functional genomics, still leaving a lot of room for study in different hemp research areas. A few genes have been identified, especially those involved in the biosynthesis of cannabinoids, but a functional characterization still lags behind for most of them.
This Special Issues, titled “Genetics and Functional Genomics in Cannabis sativa, L.” intends to collect papers ranging from genome-wide to target gene analyses on different hemp research topics. The identification of new genes involved in the synthesis of specialized metabolites or in the expression of other important traits for Cannabis breeding (fiber traits, flowering time, grain yield and quality, sex plasticity, disease resistance, etc.) are welcome, together with papers reporting on the development of methods for reverse genetics in Cannabis, and the characterization of functional target genes. Genome-wide bioinformatic analyses are also welcome, especially when they bring new knowledge about hemp research.
Dr. Roberta Paris
Manuscript Submission Information
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- gene function
- resistance genes
- transcription factors
- tissue culture
- reverse genetics
- genome assemblies
- genomic resources
- flowering time
- sex expression
- genetic maps
- molecular biology
- gene knockout
- genetic transformation
- genetic diversity
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Title: In silico identification of MYBs and bHLH reveal candidate regulatory TFs for key secondary metabolic pathways in Cannabis sativa L.
Authors: Laura Bassolino1*, Matteo Buti2, Flavia Fulvio1, Alessandro Pennesi1, Giuseppe Mandolino1, Justyna Milc3, Enrico Francia3 and Roberta Paris1,*
Affiliation: 1 CREA-Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops Bologna, Italy 2 Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (Dagri), University of Florence, Florence, Italy 3 Department of Life Sciences, Centre BIOGEST-SITEIA, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Abstract: Plant secondary metabolic pathways are finely tuned and regulated by the activity of transcription factors like members of bHLH and MYB subfamilies. Cannabis sativa L. is a unique officinal plant species with approximately 600 synthesized metabolites having diverse scale-up industrial and pharmaceutical usage. Despite a comprehensive knowledge of cannabinoids metabolic pathway very little is known about their regulation while literature on flavonoids is scarce. The assembled genome of the CBDRx variety is a genetic resource of great value for bioinformatics studies. In this study, we provide the first genome-wide analysis of bHLH and MYB families in Cannabis which led to the identification of 93 and 89 genes, respectively. Comparative phylogenetic analysis with A. thaliana protein members distributed CsbHLH and CsMYBs into distinct functional subfamilies. Gene structure analysis and motif distribution confirmed that members belonging to the same evolutionary clade share common features at both gene and amino acidic level. Interestingly, such findings resulted in candidate regulatory genes for key metabolic pathways leading to flavonoids and cannabinoids synthesis in Cannabis. Furthermore, a candidate gene approach was used to identify in silico candidate structural enzymes encoding genes for flavonoids and cannabinoids synthesis which are randomly distributed on chromosomes. Taken as a whole, our results represent a valuable resource of candidate genes for further investigating the C. sativa genome for genomic studies and genetic improvements strategies.
Title: Transcriptome Response of Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) to the Pathogenic fungus, Golovinomyces cichoracearum
Authors: Dinesh Adhikary
Affiliation: University of Alberta
Abstract: Powdery mildew (PM), caused by the obligate biotrophic fungus Golovinomyces cichoracearum, is an economically important fungal disease of hemp - and marijuana – type cannabis. While the PM disease can be managed effectively by cultivating resistant hosts and maintaining proper sanitation in the growth facilities, there are not known PM resistant genetic variants representing a wide variety of chemotypes. This study represents the first transcriptomic report on hemp cultivar ‘X59’ in response to G. cichoracearum. We have quantified transcript dynamics at 5-, 8-, and 11-days post inoculation (DPI) of C. sativa genotypes and compared the differential expression between the control and inoculated seedlings. Symptoms of pathogen infection was observed 8 days post inoculation (DPI). Reference genome guided transcriptomic analysis revealed 1898 genes that were significantly (q < 0.05) differentially expressed (DE) during Golovinomyces infection. Of these, 241, 315, and 910 were upregulated in the treated samples at 5, 8, and 11 DPI respectively, while 263, 266, and 968 transcripts were downregulated in the treated samples at 5, 8, 11 DPI, respectively. Genes related to phytohormones, such as salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET), were abundantly regulated. Metabolic pathways related to flavonoids, terpenes, phytoalexins, and thaumatin were upregulated indicating their possible roles in defense against the pathogen. The expression of glycosyl hydrolases including chitinases and glucanases gradually increased by 11 DPI. Among the DE genes, there were 45 putative gene transcripts that were potentially involved in the plant response against PM. Our study has contributed to an enhanced understanding of the potential mechanisms that are involved in mediating response to PM, particularly during early stages of PM establishment and colonization.