Cannabis-based products constitute an increasing market as nutrient-rich trend foods and promising nutraceuticals in Europe and the United States. The Cannabis industry represents a new challenge for farmers that must rely on innovative cultivation technologies to succeed. Intensive breeding makes modern Cannabis crops more susceptible to biotic and abiotic stresses, partially caused by reduced genetic and microbial diversity. Recently, co-evolved, highly adapted microorganisms isolated from naturally occurring seed-endophytic communities have been identified as a promising alternative to chemical fertilizers to improve plant properties and agricultural performance. So far, Cannabis seed endophytes remain mostly undescribed, and an efficient system to introduce beneficial bacteria to growing plants was so far not established. In this project, we will identify essential seed endophytes of different Cannabis cultivars for the first time and assess the capacity of a fully biodegradable water-retaining material as a carrier to deliver beneficial endophytes into the microbe-plant system. Together, this strategy will facilitate developing an innovative bio-based product for Cannabis cultivation, capable of increasing microbial biodiversity and associated beneficial traits in this highly requested crop. The utilization of Cannabis seed endophytes will be a new promising biotechnological solution to meet the rising demand for Cannabis sub-products on the international market.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/21 → 31/12/23|