Trilogene Seeds Accelerates Research for Future Hemp Genetics
Trilogene Seeds will lead an advanced hemp research initiative at Saluki Innovation Lab at Southern Illinois University Research Park. The team plans to leverage genomic tools and agricultural biotechnology with the aim of developing and breeding cannabis and hemp genetics of the future.
Lead geneticist at Trilogene Seeds, Oussama Badad, is a Ph.D. candidate currently working on the epigenetic imprints in crop domestication using cutting edge technologies such as methylated DNA, chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression.
“Instead of relying on late-stage phenotyping to make decisions about selections, we can use genotyping, sequencing and genetic markers to make selections as early as 3 weeks after germination,” says Badad. “Molecular breeding is faster, more accurate, more scalable, and less expensive than traditional breeding relying on phenotyping; on average genotyping can be 30% cheaper than phenotyping in our case.”
Future genetic development projects include modulation of cannabinoid pathways to produce minor cannabinoid and high terpenoid varieties that are ideal for extraction, total THC compliance, and ploidy. Badad continues, “Cannabis sativa L is a diploid species. Tetraploid development has been proven to increase copy number of genes and therefore increase gene expression in pathways of interest.”
The Trilogene research team is exploring how ploidy levels can modulate cannabinoid expressions, fatty acid content in seed, and bast fiber quality in industrial varieties. “We are committed to accelerating the development of this complex plant and will continue to push research forward at our new genomics lab in Illinois. This opportunity at SIU’s innovation center will allow us to lean on university expertise and infrastructure to accelerate our genetic development projects,” says Matt Haddad, CEO/founder of Trilogene Seeds.