Aussie researchers embark on hemp nutritional quality project to boost market

Southern Cross University has received funding from the Australian Research Council for its New crop on the block: Genetic control of hempseed nutritional quality.

Associate Professor Tobias Kretzschmar, a world expert in plant breeding and genetics, will lead the project. His team will work with industrial partner Kavasil Pty Ltd, a regional hemp research and development (R&D) and consultancy firm based in Nimbin in the NSW Northern Rivers.

While hemp seeds, rich in polyunsaturated oils and high-quality protein, are gaining traction worldwide as a functional food crop, very little is known about the genetic control of oil and protein content and composition, which are critical traits for optimizing hemp seed productivity and quality for Australian industry.

“The project will involve the characterization of hemp germplasm for seed quality traits, including seed size and nutrient composition,” Associate Professor said Kretzschmar.

“Importantly, we will link genotypes (genetic makeup) to phenotypes (visual or chemical traits/traits) through quantitative genetic approaches. This will help improve cannabis seed varieties for Australian requirements in the future.”

Also Read :  Google Pixel event 2022 live blog: Pixel Watch, Pixel 7, and more expected at today's launch party

A unique genetic resource of 120 different hemp accessions (cultivars), consisting of globally sourced germplasm and accessions provided by Kavasil, is used to define the genetics underpinning dietary variation and associated genotype-environment interactions.