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Planta Med. 2018 Mar;84(4):214-220. doi: 10.1055/s-0043-125087. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Current Perspectives on Biotechnological Cannabinoid Production in Plants.

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Laboratory of Technical Biochemistry, Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany.
Plant Biotechnology and Metabolic Engineering, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany.


The plant Cannabis sativa contains a number of psychoactive chemical compounds, the cannabinoids, which possess a significant pharmaceutical potential. Recently, the usage of Cannabis for medicinal purposes was legalized in many countries. Thus, the study on the influence of different cannabinoids in combination with other Cannabis-derived compounds with respect to the treatment of various diseases becomes increasingly important. Besides the production of distinct cannabinoids in a heterologous host, like tobacco or yeast, transgenic Cannabis plants would be a suitable alternative to modify and therefore optimize the cannabinoid profile. This perspective highlights the current efforts on Cannabis cell culture systems, in vitro propagation, and transformation of the plant and reveals the resulting opportunities concerning biotechnological production of cannabinoids. Furthermore, alternative platform organisms for the heterologous production of cannabinoids, like tobacco, are considered and evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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