Agricultural biotech company collaborates with world’s leading agriculture school for research
CALIFORNIA: Front Range Biosciences, a leading agricultural biotech company, has launched a genomics research initiative with the University of California, Davis, to advance understanding of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical uses. The research team consists of Professor Dario Cantu in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, research scientists in the Cantu lab, and members of the FRB team.
“We have successfully applied cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies and computational approaches to study challenging genomes of diverse crops and associated microorganisms. We are now excited to have the opportunity to study the genome of hemp. Decoding its genome will allow us to gain new insight into the genetic bases of complex pathways of secondary metabolism in plants,” said Dr. Cantu.
“UC Davis is renowned as the leading agriculture university in the world and we are excited to work with Dr. Cantu’s team to improve this crop to reduce pesticide residues and excessive application of fertilizers, in preparation for production targeting medically beneficial compounds,” said Dr. Jonathan Vaught, CEO of FRB.
During the project, FRB will isolate DNA from hemp cultivars that are low in THC and solely for industrial uses. The company will send these DNA samples to UC Davis for Next-Generation Sequencing and bioinformatic analysis to create a better genome reference for cannabis.
To fund the project, FRB pledged a gift, to be fulfilled over a one-year period, to The Regents of University of California to support UC Davis’ development and annotation of the cannabis genome. FRB gift will cover costs related to supplies, DNA and RNA sequencing, assembly and annotation of the cannabis genome.