Ever wonder what it might look like to see the live history of cannabis genetics mapped out visually? What shape would it take? A cluster of dots? The genetic version of a family tree? PhD Mowgli Holmes of Phylos BioScience found a way…and as it turns out, it looks like a galaxy, with thousands of clusters and “constellations.”
Why bother mapping this space? Well, the work of the Phylos lab is to understand the cannabis genome. And in order to explore the genetic origins, they had to ask some questions…
- “Where did cannabis come from?” (It was first domesticated in Central Asia about 10,000 years ago and then spread like wildfire to every corner of the planet).
- “How do I know what kind of cannabis I am consuming?” (that answer is far more complex… galaxy-level complex).
Phylos realized that they could answer both of these questions by applying basic population genetics (if you don’t think of “population genetics” as “basic” you are not alone – and no need to fear, you can learn all about it in the video below). So, they set out to identify where specific strains and cannabis varieties came from, and then began the painstaking work of untangling the massive, worldwide cannabis genetics web.
And…then they laid that data out visually, and publicly, replete with interactive components. Welcome to the Phylos Galaxy:
Phylos has the world’s largest database of cannabis DNA featuring the genetic identity of thousands of varieties from over 80 countries. The Phylos Galaxy is a 3D population genetics visualization of this data, offering the public unprecedented scientific insight into varieties that, until now, have only been categorized by street names. Anyone can submit a variety to the Galaxy with Phylos Genotype, a DNA sequencing test that offers permanent placement in the Galaxy, a “living” digital genetic report that updates in real time, and digital marketing tools to share your exciting varieties with the world.
What follows is a high-level overview of basic DNA mapping made so simple by the brilliant Mowgli Holmes. It was an honor to have him on the CannaTech stage this past March in Tel Aviv. Here’s a peek into the very wide galaxy of cannabis seed genetics.