Lexston Life Sciences' wholly-owned subsidiary, Egret Bioscience has recently received funding from the Canadian government for their project on Cannabis transformation to develop new breeding techniques using CRISPR-Cas9 technology.
Successfully transfected protoplasts expressing GFP
The project, entitled “Screening of Egret’s hemp genotypes for proof of concept tissue culture and transformation method validation“ was initiated by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) in July 2021 through their Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). The Government contribution to the research totals over CAD$55,000. The goal of this year-long project is to develop new high essential oil hemp genotypes by manipulating the Cannabis sativa L. genome with the CRISPR gene editing system at targets identified by Egret scientists.
On September 30, 2021, the NRC provided a project report for the initial stages of transformation of Cannabis tissue cultures. The team reported successfully creating cannabis protoplasts (cannabis cell cultures without cell walls) from four of Egret’s flagship essential oil hemp varieties: Hempress, Autopilot, Abacus and Suver Haze. The team also successfully transformed the protoplast with a marker protein, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) to validate the methods developed thus far.
“We are tremendously excited to see the progress made by NRC Scientists, lead by Dr. Pankaj Bhowmik on four of the five varieties of essential oil hemp that we recently imported from the United States. Our high CBD, high essential oil content germplasm will be transformed into zero THC versions to ensure their compliance with the Canadian Industrial Hemp Regulations and the specification of the international hemp markets which requires hemp flowers to test below 0.3% total THC”, stated Philippe Henry PhD, Chief Science Officer and Director of Lexston.
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