Postprint of: Welling, MT, Liu, L, Shapter, T, Raymond, CA & King, GJ 2016, 'Characterisation of cannabinoid composition in a diverse Cannabis sativa L. germplasm collection', Euphytica, vol. 208. no. 3, pp. 463-475.
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The ability to characterise cannabinoid chemical phenotype (chemotype) accurately is important for the development of Cannabis sativa L. cultivars specific for pharmacological, hemp fibre, or seed end use. Although a number of chemotyping and genotyping methods have previously been developed to predict and characterise cannabinoid composition, only a subset of the gene pool has been examined. A representative survey from a wide range of geographically and genetically diverse C. sativa accessions using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) cannabinoid profiling together with dominant and co-dominant DNA marker assays was performed. Overall variability of chemotype across the gene pool was found to be three-fold greater within heterozygote genotypes than previously reported. Interestingly, an individual plant of East Asian origin was found to exhibit a rare propyl alkyl cannabinoid homologue and a chemotype inconsistent with the predicted genotype. We propose that in order to carry out comprehensive screening of genetic resource collections and to identify chemotypic variants specific for end-use pharmacological applications, a strategy which adopts both cannabinoid profiling and the co-dominant DNA marker assay is required. Further research with consideration of propyl-alkyl-cannabinoid homologues should explore the relationship between chemotype and genotype in greater detail.