Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Terpene synthases from Cannabis sativa

2017 Mar 29;12(3):e0173911. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173911. eCollection 2017.

Author information

Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, East Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6T 1Z4.
Anandia Laboratories, Lower Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6T 1Z4.
Botany Department, University of British Columbia, University Blvd, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4.


Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plants produce and accumulate a terpene-rich resin in glandular trichomes, which are abundant on the surface of the female inflorescence. Bouquets of different monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are important components of cannabis resin as they define some of the unique organoleptic properties and may also influence medicinal qualities of different cannabis strains and varieties. Transcriptome analysis of trichomes of the cannabis hemp variety 'Finola' revealed sequences of all stages of terpene biosynthesis. Nine cannabis terpene synthases (CsTPS) were identified in subfamilies TPS-a and TPS-b. Functional characterization identified mono- and sesqui-TPS, whose products collectively comprise most of the terpenes of 'Finola' resin, including major compounds such as β-myrcene, (E)-β-ocimene, (-)-limonene, (+)-α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, and α-humulene. Transcripts associated with terpene biosynthesis are highly expressed in trichomes compared to non-resin producing tissues. Knowledge of the CsTPS gene family may offer opportunities for selection and improvement of terpene profiles of interest in different cannabis strains and varieties.