February 1, 2020 at 8:45 pm

Plant Biology Colloquium | Return of OG: Cannabis, Original Cash Crop Makes a Comeback, Feb. 14

Rishi Masalia, portrait

Dr. Rishi Masalia

The Environmental & Plant Biology Colloquium Series presents Dr. Rishi Masalia on “Return of the OG: Cannabis, the original cash crop makes a comeback” on Friday Feb. 14, at 11:50 a.m. in Porter 104.

Masalia is the director of bioinformatics, Leafworks Ambasssador, ASPB membership committee from Sebastopol, California.

Abstract: Cannabis fever is taking over the United States. Used medicinally, recreationally and functionally (i.e., fiber, construction, etc.) for millennia, Cannabis has a global distribution and deep ties to human culture. In recent history, the Cannabis industry in the U.S. has been heavily influenced by its Schedule I classification. Despite this prohibition, Cannabis cultivation still persists underground and in isolation. With public opinion quickly changing, more states are legalizing Cannabis, enabling the scientific community to investigate this plant, allowing us to pose basic biological questions about genetic diversity and ancestry. To explore the current breadth of genetic diversity in Cannabis and how that relates to naming conventions, we present analyses of genome-wide SNP data from a large collection of Cannabis accessions. In this talk, I will explore our recent work indicating discrepancies in Cannabis labeling and genetic clustering based on classic Cannabis ideotypes (i.e., Indica and Sativa). As prohibition of Cannabis wanes, understanding genetic diversity and its relationship with cultivar identification is imperative for advancing the Cannabis industry across all uses.

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