GTR has achieved the first known stable transformation and regeneration of multiple THC-free hemp cultivars.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (PRWEB) June 23, 2022
Growing Together Research Inc. (GTR), a U.S. biotechnology company, today announced expanded research and product development capabilities to modulate the expression of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in C. sativa (Cannabis and Hemp).
Earlier this year, GTR and Texas A&M AgriLife Research revealed its partnership had achieved the first known stable transformation and regeneration of multiple THC-free hemp cultivars. The results included validated gene edits that are expected to eliminate or nearly eliminate production of THC and cannabichromene, as well as boost expression of cannabidiol (CBD). The transformed cultivars are expected to be ready for market in the fourth quarter of 2022 and are intended to help American hemp farmers manage the risk of their crop going “hot,” which often requires the grower to destroy the crop or face serious legal repercussions.
Based on its demonstrated ability to turn “down” or “off” the genes coding for THC expression, now GTR is applying the same techniques to turn THC expression “up.” GTR will soon commence an effort in collaboration with Canada-based academic and commercial partners to create a cannabis cultivar with enhanced expression of THC. An initial set of high THC cultivars are expected to be created by the third quarter of 2023.
The scientific ability to modulate THC expression up and down, referred to as the “Delta-9 Dial,” represents a quantum leap forward in stable gene editing of the cannabis plant, which is notoriously difficult to transform. Importantly, it also further establishes the significant capabilities of GTR’s genomics platform, where producers may choose from a menu of traits to customize their plants’ genetics and optimize their value. The team at GTR now aim to deploy this platform in a variety of use cases to engineer plants with precision at an industrial scale.
“Understanding the mechanics of the THC pathway are perhaps the most important component of truly unlocking the promise of cannabis and hemp,” said Sam Proctor, chief executive officer of GTR. “We are very excited about our results to date and look forward to further innovating for the benefit of stakeholders across the cannabis and hemp supply chain.”
According to research, over 10 percent of planted acreage between 2018-2020 went “hot,” demonstrating and illustrating the significant costs to industry. In addition, studies on a cross-section of currently cultivated varieties of hemp indicate that many cultivars express significantly higher levels of THC and inconsistent levels of CBD compared to the certificates of analysis presented to growers.
GTR’s scientific achievements mark a major milestone for the cannabis and hemp industries and represent the leading edge in moving C. sativa into the era of modern agriculture and biotechnology, where crops are transformed to improve harvests, increase yields of beneficial compounds, and better resist disease, pests and other negative effects. GTR is proud to lead efforts to move industrial hemp into the mainstream, similar to mass-market agricultural commodities such as corn and soybeans that have been transformed and optimized by market participants for decades.
GTR has formed commercial partnerships with wholesale hemp producers and welcomes conversations with additional partners interested in increasing the use, utility and value for stakeholders across the cannabis and industrial hemp ecosystems.
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About Growing Together Research Inc.
Growing Together Research Inc. (GTR) is a U.S. biotechnology company focused on applying cutting-edge computational genomics to unlock the full potential of organisms. Led by a team of veteran genetic, bioinformatic and computer scientists, GTR is dedicated to comprehensively understanding and unlocking the commercial potential of the cannabis genome. GTR provides gene profiling and trait optimization services for its customers and works with partners across the industrial hemp and cannabis industries to create custom commercial applications for producers, extractors and distributors. For more information visit https://www.gtresearch.io.
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