Unlocking genetic potential of “ignored cannabis” for therapeutic purposes- ON-509

Project type: Research
Desired discipline(s): Biology, Life Sciences, Genetics, Microbiology / Immunology, Agriculture, Natural Sciences
Company: Mera Cannabis Corp.
Project Length: Longer than 1 year
Preferred start date: As soon as possible.
Language requirement: English
Location(s): St. Thomas, ON, Canada
No. of positions: 1
Desired education level: CollegeUndergraduate/BachelorMaster'sPhDPostdoctoral fellow
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About the company: 

Production & Processing: Mera's medical-grade production facilities are built to EU GMP/GACP standards, making our products suitable for international export.
Innovation & Development: Mera is one of a few licensed producers working with our own data to improve product quality and customer experiences, and to create proprietary products and formulations.
International Expansion: With an impending processing plant in Malta and distribution established in Germany, we’re taking our experience in Canada to international medical markets.

Expertise & Partnerships: From greenhouse operations experts to cannabis retail specialists – we’re building relationships that complement the core focus of our business

Describe the project.: 

Supplying cannabis, and cannabis products, to a legalized retail marker represents a major economic opportunity. Indeed, the retail market value (for recreational cannabis) in Canada is expected to reach $8.7 billion annually. However, cannabis being one of the most widely used illicit drugs made it excluded from scientific research over the past century. Compared with most traditional crops, cannabis has not benefitted from breeding and research programs that have led to massive increases in yields and sustainability of other agricultural production systems. While germplasm improvements of major crops such as wheat, rice or maize triggered the Green Revolution, cannabis only suffered significant erosion of genetic resources. Mera Cannabis has acquired a collection of 382 strains from 13 different populations. The research project proposed here aims at phenotypic, chemotypic and genotypic characterization of these lines. The identified candidate will grow seeds of these lines, measure various agronomic traits and secondary metabolite profiles, and select the most promising varieties for use in future breeding efforts. In parallel, the candidate will conduct association studies (correlation between genotypic markers and phenotypic or chemotypic traits). The identification of associations would help accelerate future breeding efforts. The main goal would be to establish final and intermediate products. Some of the methods imposed would be: micro-propagation, genotyping by sequencing, and secondary metabolite characterization

Required expertise/skills: 

  • Looking for a Masters, PhD, or Postdoc candidate
  • Must have plant science background, cannabis knowledge preferred, micro-propagation