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The classification of Cannabis varieties has been increasingly discussed in the past years, particularly in the wake of emerging legal markets, with implications for intellectual property development, marketing and improvement of the scientific understanding of this contentious plant. While the concept of chemovars has been proposed and has gained popularity of late, the lack of guidance in introducing this concept and the fact that chemovars are based on indirectly assessed traits with a heritable basis has likely impeded the implementation of the concept to a broader audience. Here I propose a simplified version of terpene hyper-classes based on three dominant terpenes that is shown to outperformed the classic indica-sativa-hybrid scheme of classification as well as a recently proposed terpene super-class scheme. This information was used to identify the most informative genetic markers for chemovar classification based on the terpene hyper-classes. I demonstrate the ability of clearly clustering accessions based on their dominant terpene and propose to extent this approach as a benchmark for chemovar classification in lieu of previously proposed models.
The current note is aimed at simplifying the concept of chemovars as commonly misunderstood by the masses. Highly informative genetic markers are proposed as a tool for chemovar classification. I also hope to disseminate this information far and wide with no hidden agenda in order to achieve a consensus on how different chemovars belonging to different terpene hyper-classes affect the end user in terms of flavours and desired effects.
21 top informative SNPs
21 top informative SNPs identified using the overfitted DAPC approach described by Henry 2015