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Seminar: Luke Owen: Pollen Quality, Storage, Breeding, and Cytology of Cannabis sativa L.

June 12, 2023 | 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Pollen Quality, Storage, Breeding, and Cytology of Cannabis sativa L.
Luke Owen, MS Seminar
Monday, June 12, 2023, 8:00 am
(Under the direction of Dr. Hsuan Chen and Dr. David Suchoff, Co-chairs)Location (Hybrid): 121 Kilgore Hall / Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 970 3236 5087
Password: 530683

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L <0.3% w/w total tetrahydrocannabinol [THC]) is a rapidly growing commodity in North Carolina. The focus of this work was to enhance various aspects of hemp through investigation of applied hemp breeding for the regional fit, genome size estimations and potential aneuploidy of hemp, and improved pollen quality initiation and storage protocols. Fourteen high CBD floral hemp cultivars were developed and analyzed with intial selections made for desired CBD content, increased biomass, and adaptability for unique environmental pressures of North Carolina. Phenotypic selection and cannabinoid analysis identified promising hemp selections that performed well, enhancing future breeding efforts. CBD:THC ratios as high as 29:1 were seen within established compliance levels showcasing potential in floral hemp adapted to North Carolina. Further studies regarding genome size were made investigating a triploid seed population of 92 seedlings revealing variation in estimated genome size and selection for chromosome visualization with an estimated 92.4% seedlings identified as 2X, 6.5% as 3X, and 1.1% as 4X. These findings establish the foundation for future aneuploidy studies in hemp and enhance future breeding efforts.Additionally, we developed a pollen initiation protocol to study the efficacy of Chrysal ALESCO®, a commercially available ethylene inhibitor, compared to traditional silver thiosulfate (STS). Analysis was made in the number of male flowers induced on female hemp plants. Results show no significant difference in male flower counts or pollen quality between the two treatments across different hemp accessions tested, with ALESCO® offering cost savings of up to 27% and improved shelf stability making it a viable option for male flower induction in future breeding efforts. We further investigated the effects of storage time on pollen storage. Pollen stored at 4ºC maintained high pollen quality (above 60% scored as being of high quality) when stained with acetocarmine and fluorescein diacetaten (FDA) after six months. This enables breeders to sync flowering and pollination times by storing pollen for extended periods of time to continue improvement of hemp cultivars. By addressing key aspects of hemp breeding with regional adaptation and pollen storage, this research contributes to the continued progress and innovation of the hemp industry with the goal of ultimately benefiting producers and advancing the field of hemp cultivation.


June 12, 2023
8:00 am - 9:00 am
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121 Kilgore Hall
2721 Founders Drive
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States
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Rachel McLaughlin
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