US plant-based technology company Calyxt announced last month that it had successfully transformed the hemp genome, enabling future advancements in gene editing and advanced plant breeding.

The Minnesota-based company said on 29 April that it expected it to accelerate hemp variety development.

Calyxt said its technology could be used to improve the

identification of plant behaviours and traits, which would allow hemp breeders to select new varieties for large-scale production.

“The hemp species as a whole has historically been a particularly difficult crop to transform,” Calyxt chief technology officer Travis Frey said.

“This transformation opens the door to other advancements in hemp through gene editing.”

The initial focus would be on standardising the crop for large-scale adoption, reduced risk hemp production and modernising the breeding process.

Calyxt said it expected its patent-pending technology to come to market as breeding platform tools or licensed traits and be commercialised by leading germplasm and hemp-based ingredient and material companies.

“This tool delivers capabilities to selectively breed and make improvements in hemp traits, including, but not limited to protein, fibre, advanced materials and wellness,” Calyxt vice president of business development Sarah Reiter said.

Calyxt said it was exploring collaboration opportunities with partners looking to use its technology in their hemp programmes.