Decoding sexual plasticity in dioecious plant- Cannabis sativa as a case study

ID: 613 / 317

Category: Abstract

Track: Pending

Proposed Symposium Title: Decoding sexual plasticity in dioecious plant- Cannabis sativa as a case study


Adrian S. Monthony1,2,3,4, Marilou Ledeuil5, Maxime de Ronne1,2,3,4, Davoud Torkamaneh1,2,3,4

Affiliations: 1 Département de phytologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada 2 Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Université Laval, Québec, Canada 3 Centre de recherche et d'innovation sur les végétaux (CRIV), Université Laval, Québec, Canada 4 Institut intelligence et données (IID), Université Laval, Québec, Canada 5 Faculté des Sciences, Université Catholique de Lyon, Lyon, France


Cannabis sativa (cannabis) a dioecious plant with a XX/XY sex chromosome complement, typically exhibits sex organ development concordant with its genetic sex. This research explores sexual plasticity, wherein cannabis plants develop sex organs opposite to their sex chromosome karyotype. This plasticity has been linked to ethylene levels, both exogenous and endogenous, yet the underlying ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathways remain a mystery. In line with the symposium's focus on evolutionary, developmental, and genetic perspectives, this presentation discusses our latest findings regarding sexual plasticity in cannabis. It introduces an easy-to-use assay for detecting ethylene-sensitive and -insensitive plants, with implications for breeding sexually stable cannabis varieties. Furthermore, we discuss the use of in silico and transcriptomic tools, enabling the modeling of the first ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathways in cannabis. Lastly, the research presented identifies ethylene-related genes (ERGs) that impact sexual plasticity in C. sativa, drawing from transcriptomic and metabolomic data from multiple genotypes of the plant. By integrating these insights, the present research provides a comprehensive model that elucidates how ethylene and ERGs influence sex determination and, crucially, sexual plasticity in both XX and XY cannabis plants. Moreover, as cannabis shares resource constraints similar to those faced by many non-model and under-studied plants, our research serves as a guide for exploring sex determination mechanisms as well as genetic factors influencing other developmental switches in resource-limited dioecious plant species.

Symposia selection: 150, ,

Key words: sexual plasticity, sex determination, cannabis sativa, ethylene, flowering