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UC Davis, Front Range Biosciences Partner on Cannabis Genome Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ag-bio firm Front Range Biosciences announced today that it has partnered with the University of California, Davis to study the genomics of cannabis for medical and nutraceutical applications.

According to Front Range, company researchers will isolate DNA from hemp cultivars that are low in tetrahydrocannabinol — the principal psychoactive chemical in the plant — and solely for industrial uses. These DNA samples will be sent to UC Davis, where a team led by university researcher Dario Cantu will perform next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analyses with the goal of creating a better cannabis reference genome.

Front Range said that it will fund the project through an unspecified gift — to be fulfilled over a one-year period — to the Regents of the University of California that will cover the university's costs related to supplies, DNA and RNA sequencing, and assembly and annotation of the cannabis genome.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"UC Davis is renowned as the leading agriculture university in the world and we are excited to work with Dr. Cantu's team to improve this crop to reduce pesticide residues and excessive application of fertilizers, in preparation for production targeting medically beneficial compounds," Front Range CEO Jonathan Vaught said in a statement.