Phenotypic characterization of Martha cultivar and development of molecular markers for selection
The partner organizations (1812 Hemp) is a traditional hemp breeding company, looking to create high-CBD cultivars for industrial use. The organization is currently growing 3 varieties and looking to develop additional varieties for production in North America. However, the conventional breeding method requires numerous generation of crossings to fix the desired trait in the population. Furthermore, the open pollination and dioecious nature of hemp makes breeding cumbersome. As a result, developed hemp varieties are still heterogeneous. Therefore, the project proposes documentation of various traits of agronomic and genetic importance of the Martha cultivar currently licensed by 1812 Hemp. Secondly, genetic markers allow the selection of plants with desirable traits at early stage of plant growth with precision. The project is designed to study DNA polymorphism of the genes that are related to cannabinoid biosynthesis in Cannabis species using Martha cultivar which comprises of subpopulations with varied levels of CBD content as well as other inter-varietal phenotypic differences. Identification of DNA marker(s) and development of genotyping method aid in selection of parent and progenies in hemp breeding and, thus, accelerate hemp variety development at 1812 Hemp.