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  #1  
Old 07-12-2001, 11:55 AM
AtomicDog AtomicDog is online now
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In the news yesterday there was a pot farm discovered by air yesterday, of all places, in downtown Atlanta. Hundreds of plants. Since the marijuana plant is so easily recognizable, has it ever occurred to anyone to splice the THC gene into tomatoes, for instance, or yeast, or other innocuous and easily grown plants?

A tank full of algae (with its own grow light!) would look like nothing more than a sloppy fish keeper.

The afore mentioned tomato grows anywhere and would certainly make a good burger.

Any reason this can't be done? Or are outlaw horticulturists already at work on this?


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  #2  
Old 07-12-2001, 01:02 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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Naturally, we're talking about trying to tap into the medical benefits of THC rather than exploiting it as some sort of insidious recreational drug. Martini-slurping moderators everywhere would no doubt feel better if the question were confined to those parameters.

The production of THC in the hemp family of plants appears to me to be more than a simple single-gene mutation. THC content can vary from variety to variety of plant, from practically none in the descendants of industrial hemp, which grows wild throughout the American midwest, to something like 12% or more (by weight, I think) in a good, ah, "medical grade" strain of cannabis indica.

But, High Times reports some success in raising the THC levels of "wild" hemp in the midwest by adding a couple of, um, "medical grade" plants into wild patches and allowing them to interbreed with the patch. Results are positive, but not spectacular. This seems to imply that more than one gene regulates the production of THC in hemp.

I'm no biologist, but it seems to me that if more than one gene is responsible for the production of THC, budding young medical researchers are going to have to figure out a way to transport the entire production mechanism over to another host, and hope that that multi-gened mechanism does not interfere with the vital functions of the host plant. That could complicate the process. Furthermore, as far as I know, gene-splicing still occurs primarily in the laboratory and not on the back deck. There are a lot of very good reasons to hope that is still the case.

However, if one were experimenting with producing THC in another plant, my guess is the first candidate would be the lab-rat of flora: the tobacco plant.

Boy, that'll make a lot of people out there happy.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2001, 01:27 PM
Doctor Goo Fee Doctor Goo Fee is offline
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Would it be illegal to insert THC "elements" (genes?)into other plants?

Do the moderators here allow discussion about such an (potentially illegal) act?

It does sound like an intriguing idea though...
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2001, 03:16 PM
Alphagene Alphagene is offline
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AD didn't ask how to make this plant, Goof. He's asking if it is feasable.

Anyway, like Sofa said, making any transgenic plant requires tremendous expertise and resources that lowly non-molecular-biologists just don't have.

On top of that, a fully staffed genetics lab located in an instiution that would support THC-tomato research would still find such a process difficult just from a molecular genetic standpoint.

There are at least half a dozen major steps in creating even the simplest transgenic plant, each one being well beyond the scope of the average Phish fan.

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  #5  
Old 07-12-2001, 03:45 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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A friend of my suggested thiso nce, except that his plant of choice was kudzu. It rather seems that that would render all attmepts to regulate this hypothetical perscription drug moot. Although it would allow farmers and hippies to form a sort of symbiotic relationships. (Marge! We gotta have a some of 'dem long-hairs come thru here and clean out the bottom forty afore we lose those pines!)
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2001, 04:12 PM
Doctor Goo Fee Doctor Goo Fee is offline
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I've heard that hops might be a good choice. Apparently, hops are one of the plants most closely related to marijuana.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2001, 04:48 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sofa King
Naturally, we're talking about trying to tap into the medical benefits of THC rather than exploiting it as some sort of insidious recreational drug. Martini-slurping moderators everywhere would no doubt feel better if the question were confined to those parameters.

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner. Thank you for, uh, clarifying that this is to be a high-level, scientific discussion of plant genetics, not a drug thread.

Carry on.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2001, 04:57 PM
Inky- Inky- is offline
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Hey! What a great idea! Here are some suggestions for possible products.

Dude I'm Baked PotatosTM (with these "Potato buds" and "hash browns" would take on new meaning!).

One toke over the LimesTM
Broccoli bluntsTM
The Chiba PetTM
Zig Zag ZuchiniTM
Ghanja-roniTM


I for one look forward to the day when the produce at the farmers market is sold by the lid.
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2001, 05:52 PM
MaceMan MaceMan is offline
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My first guess is that THC is a chemical, not a protein, so it wouldn't be produced by a single gene. Rather, it would be produced by a number of gene products (enzymes) acting in concert along a biosynthetic pathway. I think it would be a fairly involved process to discover all those genes and express them successfully in another plant. However, if it were possible to find another plant that has most of those enzymes already, it should be fairly easy to tweak the system towards producing THC.
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  #10  
Old 07-12-2001, 06:08 PM
Opengrave Opengrave is offline
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Kudzu

Oh man - if that happened and southwest Arkansas ever caught fire the munchies would run from Boston MA to Bakersfield CA. At the first sign of fire in Nashville Arkansas buy all the Frito-Lay stock you can afford!
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2001, 06:32 PM
Frumious Bandersnatch Frumious Bandersnatch is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sofa King
[snip]
The production of THC in the hemp family of plants appears to me to be more than a simple single-gene mutation. THC content can vary from variety to variety of plant, from practically none in the descendants of industrial hemp, which grows wild throughout the American midwest, to something like 12% or more (by weight, I think) in a good, ah, "medical grade" strain of cannabis indica.
[/snip]
Sofa,

I haven't been um.. "ill" for several years now, but I seem to remember being um..."prescribed" cannabis sativa. Is my memory just gone?

Mods,
I don't want to know anything illeagal, just thirsting for knowlege. And kinda getting the munchies for some learnin'
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2001, 07:21 PM
Doctor Goo Fee Doctor Goo Fee is offline
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I've heard that hops might be a good choice. Apparently, hops are one of the plants most closely related to marijuana.
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  #13  
Old 07-12-2001, 10:04 PM
choosybeggar choosybeggar is offline
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I agree with many of the posters in this thread that a "simple" single gene transfer approach would not get the job done. THC is a complex molecule synthesized in a multistep process from an isoprenoid precursor. Many different enzymes are involved.

But, where there's a will, there's a way. Follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will discover that some folks who presumably have the knowhow to get this kind of thing done are already hard at work.
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2001, 02:45 AM
Badtz Maru Badtz Maru is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frumious Bandersnatch
Quote:
Originally posted by Sofa King
[snip]
The production of THC in the hemp family of plants appears to me to be more than a simple single-gene mutation. THC content can vary from variety to variety of plant, from practically none in the descendants of industrial hemp, which grows wild throughout the American midwest, to something like 12% or more (by weight, I think) in a good, ah, "medical grade" strain of cannabis indica.
[/snip]
Sofa,

I haven't been um.. "ill" for several years now, but I seem to remember being um..."prescribed" cannabis sativa. Is my memory just gone?

Mods,
I don't want to know anything illeagal, just thirsting for knowlege. And kinda getting the munchies for some learnin'
There are three species of cannabis, sativa, indica, and a third one that starts with R but I can't remember it's name. Indica is supposed to be the strongest, though potency varies greatly within species.
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2002, 06:16 AM
Mr_Friendly Mr_Friendly is offline
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ruderalis is the third species althought there is dispute as to whether sativa, indica etc are actually different species. plus they have been interbred and hyrbidised loads to produce the massive range of genetics we see today, white widow, cali-o etc tec
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