Title : Cannabis sativa: Studies and trends based on integrated omics approaches
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) originated from Central Asia and is distributed to a lesser extent in other areas of the world, thriving in a wide variety of habitats and climates. Two main classifications for this plant have been established: fibre crop (hemp), whose woody fibers are employed for rope and textile making, and drug crop (medicinal cannabis), cultivated for therapeutic purposes. It is one of the oldest cultivated commercially relevant species. However, due to the existing cannabis cultivation legislation, many aspects of the crops haven’t been completely elucidated, especially molecular and genetic pathways. Conversely, the majority of the economically relevant crop species have already been extensively studied, especially after the development of the novel next generation sequencing (NGS) approaches. Only in recent times regulations have become less strict, making it possible a further and more detailed cannabis characterization, getting the attention of the scientific community, as well as the availability of assembled cannabis genomes. In this context, we provide an overview of the cannabis molecular resources available to date, especially about the most promising metabolomics, transcriptomics, genomics approaches. Multiomics methods are detailed as well, being an impactful strategy to highlight relationships between metabolic pathways and biological processes across several omics layers, and to further investigate the relationships between cannabis sub-species. Particularly, the correlations between genotypes and phenotypes are investigated, as well as novel metabolites with potential therapeutic use in cannabis breeding programs. However, we aware that more studies are still necessary to completely understand the complex cannabis metabolomic pathways. Therefore, relevant emerging techniques are also discussed including pangenomics and genome editing methods, which, when properly combined with multi-omics datasets can impact the genetic improvement of cannabis.