Genetic data from over 1,300 cannabis varieties is now available for public access.

Phylos reads the DNA of individual cannabis varieties using next generation sequencing and high density genotyping technology. During this process, we generate data, analyze it, and compare samples to each other, which makes it possible to produce genetic reports and assign varieties an exact location in the Phylos Galaxy.

When analyzed in aggregate, genotype data serve as an extremely powerful tool for advancing cannabis science. Genotype data can be used to understand relationships between varieties, the structure of populations, and to deepen our understanding of how genetic variation determines the phenotypes we see in different varieties. It also serves as a valuable resource for other researchers to supplement and expand their own studies.

As a science company, we believe it is our responsibility to increase the amount of publicly shared data available to both the research community and cannabis industry. Making data publicly accessible is a well established practice.

When our customers give us permission, Phylos shares a set of raw genetic data from their cannabis varieties with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), one of the world’s largest repositories of open access genetic data.

In 2016, Phylos published approximately 850 raw genetic sequences to the NCBI. Earlier this week, we published a second set with data from over 1,300 varieties. Once data is published to the NCBI (or other public data repositories), anyone can access, view, and download it. Varied researchers and nonprofits have accessed this data, from Google Cloud’s BigQuery to the Open Cannabis Project—a nonprofit organization with a mission to defend cannabis diversity from overreaching patents.

While this DNA sequence data is extremely valuable from a research perspective, it is important to note that it cannot be used to grow plants, to claim ownership over them, or to patent them. Thankfully, public access to data does not weaken an owner’s rights to pursue intellectual property on an individual plant, nor does it place the plant into the public domain unless clonally propagated cuttings have been previously released.

Phylos customers can use their sequence data as a form of intellectual property documentation and protection, although genetic data alone does not provide ownership rights for a plant. However, genetic data can be used defensively as evidence to stop other parties from filing illegitimate protections on a plant or category of plants, and offensively as supporting evidence of an owner’s intellectual property.

Download Phylos data.
Contact for more information on Phylos data sharing and privacy.