close
Science

Artificial intelligence unlocks the depths of the cannabis genome

DNA genetics

Genome sequencing is a way to understand diseases and develop drugs

DNA is the cornerstone of organic life on our planet. Complex network of data still under constant study, scientists see medical and commercial potential to unlock genomes species, including cannabis.

A genome is the complete set of DNA in an organism and, according to the US National Library of Medicine, contains all the information necessary to build and maintain this life, whether plant or animal.

“The genome is the code we have in our DNA that is unique to every cell in our body. It is made up of half of our mother's code and half of our father's code. And this is also true for plants and animals, ”said Dr. Gil Ronen, professional genome cartographer.

Ronen is president and co-founder of NRGene, an Israeli company specializing in the sequencing of plant and animal genomes for industries using artificial intelligence. The company has succeeded in solving genome sequences for wheat, rye, oats and many more than others before.

According to him, all DNA codes are a very long chain of chemicals, consisting of four different chemical elements represented by the letters A (adenine), G (guanine), C (cytosine) and T (thymine). A complete genome makes hundreds of millions of these letters.

genome sequencing, Dr Gil Ronen, artificial intelligence

“This is the book of life, everything we do is encoded in this very great book. "

Sequencing a complete DNA genome is no easy task. Even the human genome, according to Ronen, has not been completely sequenced: despite the billions of dollars spent.

to read :  Cannabis terpenes

Eliminating these gaps is a key part of understanding the genetics of any species. And while the sequencing of individual human genomes is a way to understand human diseases and develop drugs, the commercial aspects of plant genomes go even further. According to a review article published in the botanical journal Applications in Plant Science, whole plant genomes can be used for "the study of fundamental questions of evolution and ecology" and to better understand "the genomic diversity of ecotypes, geographic isolates and associated species".

The role of artificial intelligence

The sequencing process has improved dramatically over time as the technology advances. Fortunately, "it's very complicated to do, but it's not that hard to explain," says Ronen.

The most common technique is to place the chemical extract from the cells into a machine that spits out an incomplete part of the DNA code in the form of the letters AGCT. Some machines offer 100 letters and others, very sophisticated, can give up to 100 letters.

“It's in very small pieces and you have to build it to the end without the image, so you don't know what it looks like,” Ronen says. “You don't have one room for every place in the genome, you have hundreds of overlapping pieces. It's like you have a mix of 200 different puzzles.

The different pieces of code overlap but are not identical. Powerful artificial intelligence systems are used to perfectly assemble the parts.

to read :  What drives patients to consume medical herb?

When it comes to cannabis, things can be tricky since the plant itself is genetically complex.

“The genes in cannabis are the keys that encode the thing that makes the different cannabinoids. All of these cannabinoids carry maps including the genes that are responsible for production in the flower. "

According to Ronen, if a cannabis grower wants their crops to favor a particular cannabinoid (like THC or CBD), they need to identify the genes that need to combine into as many functional genes that are responsible for producing the substance. Knowing which genes the plant needs to produce the desired cannabinoid, and making sure that they are working as well as possible, can help growers get the best quality results from their plants.

A complete genome helps growers better understand their plants and plan accordingly. Traditional growing methods can take up to two or three times as long, according to Ronen.

“You want to find your offspring with the highest number of functional genes that produce THC,” he says.

In addition to potency, a complete genomic array can help spread commercially attractive traits like resistance to mold or mushrooms, serious problems for any type of agriculture.


Tags : ADNAgriculture / GrowEnvironmentGeneticTechnology
weed master

The author weed master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.