The Power of Open Data
In 2016, Phylos published approximately 850 raw genetic sequences to the NationaI Center for Biotechnology Information. 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.
Pheno Hunting, Breeding and the Outrageous Diversity of Cannabis
We can thank the unsung heroes of the cannabis world—the breeders—for the wild diversity of cannabis varieties we see today. For example, check out the otherworldly purple of Sirius Black. And Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which smells exactly like its name. Or there’s The MAC, which reached cult status for its frosty-white trichomes — those mesmerizing crystal-flecked hairs you see on cannabis flower.
Breeding the Next Generation of Cannabis
The word “evolution” has become ubiquitous and is now synonymous with adaptation and improvement. However, one core principle is frequently overlooked in popular culture: no single organism evolves. Only populationsof organisms evolve. The driving force behind evolution is natural selection or “survival of the fittest”—a phrase commonly attributed to Charles Darwin but borrowed from English philosopher Herbert Spencer.
Intro to Cannabis Genetics Part 2: Populations & Propagation
Though cannabis may all be classified as Cannabis sativa, which we discussed in part one, there are still lots of ways to talk about the genetic variation within the species from a scientific perspective. One way has to do with genotype and phenotype, also covered in part one. Another way to talk about it has to do with its populations and how those populations reproduce.
Intro to Cannabis Genetics: Debunking the Indica vs. Sativa Binary
The weed world these days is filled with a wide variety of delicious, yummy-smelling, sticky, and often medicinal buds. That’s thanks in no small part to cannabis breeders and farmers who, in just a matter of decades, have brought forth an abundance of extraordinary varieties.
Powdery Mildew and the Evolutionary Arms Race
As the temperatures cool, days shorten, buds swell, and clouds return, so do many dreaded foes, including powdery mildew. Powdery mildew fungi (in the family Erysiphaceae) are obligate parasites to over 10,000 different vascular plant species. Being an obligate parasite means they cannot complete their life cycle without a specific, suitable, and living host.
Environmental Effects on Plant Biology Across Generations
One of the most startling findings in plant biology: plants seem to actually learn things about their environments and then pass this knowledge onto their progeny. Insights like this, from basic research on the plant kingdom in general, will soon start to change how we understand and grow Cannabis.