US (VA): Virginia Tech to study the regulation of genes responsible for cannabinoid biosynthesis

Industrial cultivation of hemp is seeing a massive expansion in the United States due to new federal laws and consumer demand.

Because of these changes in regulation, part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, researchers are legally able to perform tests on hemp, and growers can produce plants. In 2021, hemp, which has a THC concentration of less than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, was grown on 54,000 acres with a value of more than $824 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In partnership with York University in Ontario, Canada, and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia, researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received a $600,000 grant to study the regulation of the genes that are responsible for cannabinoid biosynthesis.

"We're interested in the regulation of the gene expression of the enzymes that are responsible for cannabinoid biosynthesis. We currently just don't have a lot of knowledge about how the biosynthetic pathway is regulated," said Bastiaan Bargmann, Assistant Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences


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