Firefly Genes and Cannabis Biology

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by Storm Crow, Oct 21, 2022.

  1. #1 Storm Crow, Oct 21, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2022
    Just a little weird science for you!

    Light It Up: Using Firefly Genes to Understand Cannabis Biology
    Light It Up: Using Firefly Genes to Understand Cannabis Biology - UConn Today

    Cannabis, a plant gaining ever-increasing attention for its wide-ranging medicinal properties, contains dozens of compounds known as cannabinoids.

    One of the best-known cannabinoids is cannabidiolic acid (CBD), which is used to treat pain, inflammation, nausea and more.

    Cannabinoids are produced by trichomes, small spikey protrusions on the surface of cannabis flowers. Beyond this fact, scientists know very little about how cannabinoid biosynthesis is controlled.

    Yi Ma, research assistant professor, and Gerry Berkowitz, professor in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources received funding through the National Research Initiative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discover the underlying molecular mechanisms behind trichrome development and cannabinoid synthesis.

    Berkowitz and Ma, along with former graduate students Samuel Haiden and Peter Apicella, discovered transcription factors responsible for trichome initiation and cannabinoid biosynthesis. Transcription factors are molecules that determine if a piece of an organism’s DNA will be transcribed into RNA, and thus expressed.

    In this case, the transcription factors cause epidermal cells on the flowers to morph into trichomes. The team’s discovery was recently published as a feature article in Plants. Related trichome research was also published in Plant Direct. Due to the gene’s potential economic impact, UConn has filed a provisional patent application on the technology.

    With this new grant, the researchers will continue to explore how these transcription factors play a role in trichome development during flower maturation. (snipped)

    Granny :wave:
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