Mike Withrow reports
AREV INTERNATIONAL BRANDS LTD. BECOMES WORLD'S FIRST CANNABIS COMPANY TO UTILIZE NEW GENOTYPING TECHNOLOGY
Arev Brands International Ltd. has contributed DNA samples from select B.C. Bud Depot genovars
to the inaugural batch run on the world's first BeadArray genotype chip to be designed specifically for the cannabis genome. The Illumina Infinium HTS microarray, designed and wholly owned by Lighthouse Genomics Inc., allows up to 96 samples to be economically tested in a single batch run. Through its holding B.C. Bud Depot, Arev has entered into a letter of intent to undertake genetic quality screening of all B.C. Bud Depot strains and genovars. This advancement in genomics technology provides B.C. Bud Depot access to what is now the world's most efficient and cost-effective method of gathering quality, targeted data from the cannabis genome.
Under the terms of the letter of intent, B.C. Bud Depot will receive preferential pricing on Lighthouse sequencing, genotyping and consulting services for a period of one year, subject to renewal upon mutual agreement of both parties. During this period, B.C. Bud Depot will test and provide consultation on new services or technologies offered by Lighthouse Genomics. Initial services are to focus on mapping genetic diversity of the B.C. Bud Depot catalogue, creating genetic profiles of unique individuals, and co-developing data handling protocols for B.C. Bud Depot's genetic screening and cannabis breeding program.
"The Lighthouse cannabis array provides us an efficient tool for screening a vast number of plants for their genetic value," stated Matthew Harvey, founder and lead breeder at B.C. Bud Depot. "We have been anticipating the completed manufacture of this custom cannabis array as it is specific to our needs of producing genetic intelligence for our breeding programs. It draws our focus to those unique plant genomes holding especially high potential for enhancing the genetic quality and diversity of our cannabis gene pool."
The Lighthouse array provides 40,000 data points per sample relating to high-interest single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and can be used to determine which samples warrant deeper analysis through the whole-genome sequencing program that B.C. Bud Depot has already initiated, as previously reported. Whole-genome sequencing provides accurate data covering approximately 800 million base pairs of DNA, the entire cannabis genome. With these data, Arev can overlay mass spectrometry data from crops to investigate linkages between plant metabolite profiles and genes associated with the production of specific cannabinoids and terpenes. From there, B.C. Bud Depot can stabilize a gene by a non-GMO (genetically modified organism) method referred to as haploid breeding.
According to Dr. Gina Conte, chief scientific officer of Lighthouse Genomics, the 40,000 SNPs targeted by the array were selected to include SNPS annotated to be involved in cannabinoid, terpene or secondary metabolite biosynthesis, as well as genes involved in flower production. In addition, she noted the array targets genes well distributed across the genome with a high degree of PC loading, or SNP variability, to enable reliably distinguishing a practically infinite number of varieties.
Mike Withrow, chief executive officer of Arev Brands, stated: "This new technology empowers Arev and B.C. Bud Depot to investigate the state of cannabinoid and terpene synthase genes, including the likelihood that plants will breed true for genes that regulate the production of compounds used in extractions and oils. Using the most advanced cannabis genotype array known to exist worldwide helps Arev and B.C. Bud Depot to continue our mandate of leading as pioneers in the development of novel genomes tailored to precise medical needs and consumer experiences."
Timothy Harvey, chief executive officer of Lighthouse Genomics, stated: "This inaugural batch run is an historic moment for Lighthouse. We are extremely pleased that B.C. Bud Depot has chosen to join us in this venture. The collaboration enables us to customize our bioinformatics software to render genomic data to suit their specific industry needs. That B.C. Bud Depot is able to use these tools for a competitive advantage is a testament to the diligence and prowess of their breeding programs."
About Arev Brands International Ltd.
Arev Brands International produces and delivers functional compounds and ingredients from its innovative extraction systems. Arev is revolutionizing the current delivery method of terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids. These premium ingredients and formulations are used in products targeted for sale in the natural health, medical, functional food, nutraceutical, sport nutrition and bioceutical markets. Arev innovates through extraction to produce extracts from specific selected plant and exude from trees that address five areas of health, including anxiety, pain management, insomnia, central nervous system disorders and libido.
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