Cell/Development/Systems

Abstract

CS -15-4 - A multi-faceted approach to investigating the glandular trichomes of Cannabis sativa reveals mechanisms of glandular trichome development

Monday, July 16
2:03 PM - 2:23 PM

Cannabis sativa produces a variety of specialized cannabinoid and terpenoid metabolites that are medicinally and economically important.  Several types of glandular trichomes (GTs) have been described that accumulate these metabolites in an extracellular cavity above the gland head. Cannabis has two major GT types that, at maturity, are morphologically distinct: sessile GTs have a gland head that resides directly on the epidermis, and stalked GTs have an elongated stalk supporting the gland head. Little is known about the relationship between development, morphology and the specialized metabolism of these GT types. Here, we use chemical profiling, transcriptomic analysis, two-photon microscopy and multi-scale scanning electron microscopy image tiling to investigate the tissue-specific and developmental regulation of GT morphology and metabolite profiles. Mature flowers contained predominantly stalked GTs, which produced a monoterpene-rich terpene profile, and possess a cavity with blue-shifted fluorescent signal and few, large oil body accumulations. In contrast to floral stalked GTs, the vegetative leaves’ sessile GTs had a sesquiterpene-rich terpene profile, and the cavity possessed a red-shifted fluorescent signal with numerous small oil bodies. Immature flowers had abundant sessile trichomes and lacked conspicuous stalked GTs, however, they contained a monoterpene-rich terpene profile. Using principal component analysis of trichome height, cavity fluorescence, and largest oil body diameter, the sessile GTs of immature flowers cluster into two populations, sharing characteristics with the sessile GTs of vegetative leaves and stalked-like characteristics of mature flower GTs. Comparative transcriptomics of stalked and sessile GTs derived from floral tissues revealed no significant differences in transcriptional regulation. This work demonstrates the developmental trajectory of floral trichome development in cannabis where the monoterpene and cannabinoid-rich mature stalked GTs first share characteristics with sessile trichomes, then become metabolically and morphologically distinct as flowers develop. These characteristics align with the strong odor and conspicuous hairy appearance of cannabis products.


 

Co-Authors

Teagen Quilichini – NRC Labs; Judith Booth – University of British Columbia; Kim Rensing – Fibics Inc.; Darren Wong – University of British Columbia; Simone Castellarin – University of British Columbia; John Coleman – Anandia Laboratories Inc.; Jorg Bohlmann – University of British Columbia; Jonathan Page – Anandia Laboratories Inc.; Anne Lacey Samuels – University of British Columbia

Samuel Livingston

Ph.D Candidate
University of British Columbia

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CS -15-4 - A multi-faceted approach to investigating the glandular trichomes of Cannabis sativa reveals mechanisms of glandular trichome development



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