Published: June 27, 2021


The transition from the vegetative stage to the reproductive stage is a crucial process for all  flowering plants. The optimal timing for the development of flowering tissue not only increases  fertility and reproductive success, but also improves pollination, seed formation, and seed  dispersal. This timing of this transition is initiated by a network of a few hundred regulatory  genes which respond to changes in the plant’s environment, as well as other factors. The  collection of these genes is referred to as the Flowering Time Regulatory Pathway. The genomic  nature of this pathway has been studied for several decades in model species of Arabidopsis and  Brassica, as well as important crop species like wheat, barley, and sunflowers. The identification  of these genes in other novel crop species, like Cannabis, remains an important step in  describing the presence/absence and variation of the flowering time pathway. Using protein  alignment tools and publicly available genomic data, this research identified 618 candidate  flowering time genes present in Cannabis for future investigation into expression, variation, and  selection. The information gained on these candidate flowering time genes within Cannabis can  now be used to develop molecular primers to amplify these regions of the genome for  experimental purposes. The increasing economic importance of Cannabis propelled by recent  legalization movements in the US states and other countries makes the timing of this research  particularly relevant for growers, breeders, and geneticists aiming to understand the genomic  nature of flowering time in Cannabis.