b'EXTRASMAPPING THE CANNABIS GENOME TO IMPROVEGLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS AS A WAY TO CURB CROPS AND HEALTH CARBON EMISSIONSThe coronavirus outbreak has companies from Apple to Amazon warning consumers, shareholders and governments about how factory shutdowns in China and across the globe have disrupted global supply chains. Many goods, including cars, mobile phones and medicines, have parts or components that are imported and exported several times before they are finally made into the fin-ished product.But beyond their vulnerability to a global health crisis, it turns out that these complex global supply chains also have a hidden climate secret.When a piece of a product in a global supply chain moves across borders, it travels with the carbon emissions needed to Unlocking the full potential of cannabis for agriculture and humanmake it. Not surprisingly, researchers call these emissions car-health will require a co-ordinated scientific effort to assemblebon-in-transit. A new publication shows that these travelling and map the cannabis genome, says a just-published internationalemissions account for a whopping 10 per cent of all global carbon study led by University of Saskatchewan researchers. emissions, and have tripled between 1995 and 2012.In a major statistical analysis of existing data and studiesWe have always been interested in the greenhouse gas published in the Annual Review of Plant Biology, the authorsemissions associated with what we consume, with little concern conclude there are large gaps in the scientific knowledge of thisfor the intricate ways in which the global economy provides us high-demand, multi-purpose crop. with the goods we consume, said Edgar Hertwich, a professor at Considering the importance of genomics in the develop- the Norwegian University of Science and Technologys (NTNU) ment of any crop, this analysis underlines the need for a co-or- Industrial Ecology Programme. It turns out that many countries dinated effort to quantify the genetic and biochemical diversityparticipate in producing those goods.of this species, the authors state. This matters as nations try to cut carbon emissions over-The team, which includes scientists in The Netherlands,all, whether by imposing carbon taxes in the countries where Germany, and the U.S., found that less than 50 per cent of thegoods are produced or consumed, or by another measure called cannabis genome is accurately mapped, with about 10 per centa border carbon adjustment, according to a paper that Hertwich of the genome missing and another 10 to 25 per cent unmapped. recently published.This means that we lack the foundation on which to buildFor example, Hertwich says, a carbon tax on imports would a molecular breeding program for cannabis comparable to whataffect exports, because 10 per cent of global GHG emissions are exists for other crops, said lead author Tim Sharbel, a plantexported more than once and enter complex global value chains. scientist in the USask College of Agriculture and Bioresources. A border carbon adjustment could advance a further unravelling Developing a high-quality genetic blueprint would provideof global supply chains.the building blocks for genomics-based breeding and applicationsAnd that may not be a good thing, he says, because products to human and animal health, while strengthening university-in- that enter the global supply chain are more energy intensive than dustry partnerships. average productsbut are, on average, with less emissions-in-The findings will serve as a cornerstone for various typestensive energy than other products.of research conducted through the USask-led CannabinoidGlobal supply chains, overall, may contribute to reducing Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS), said Sharbel. Theemissions associated with the production of individual products, multi-disciplinary team also involved USask researchers fromHertwich said.the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, College of Medicine, andThe European Union has made it clear that cutting carbon the School of Environment and Sustainability. emissions are a top priority. On 4 March, EU Commission These data are crucial for setting up a core collection ofPresident Ursula von der Leyen announced that the commission genotypes which can be used to study various cannabis traits,had adopted a proposal for the first-ever European Climate Law, he said. with the objective for the EU to be climate neutral by 2050.Sharbel noted that recent societal and governmental accept- The science is very clear. Climate is part of the natural ance of cannabis has spurred growing interest by companies inworld that sustains us, she said in a press briefing about the medical applications of cannabis use. He is seeking medicinalproposal. "And this natural world is severely endangered. It is plant industry partners to help fund academic research that willhigh time to act and this Climate Law is part of the European map, compare and make full use of the closely related genomescontribution to this action.of cannabis, hemp, and hops. Source:NorwegianUniversityOfScienceAnd This initiative would become part of an industry-drivenTechnologyeffort to exchange resources and improve cannabis, hemp and hops for medicinal and industrial properties, he said.If we can publish case studies to show that certain com-pounds can treat human disorders with statistical significance, then getting such information into the medicare systemfor example, as a basis for a Drug Identification Number assigned to a drug product before it can be marketed in Canadawould be of great benefit to companies. Source: University Of Saskatchewan46IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'