Cannabis glandular trichomes alter morphology and metabolite content during flower maturation.

Samuel J. Livingston, Teagen D. Quilichini, Judith K. Booth, Darren C. J. Wong, Kim H. Rensing, Jessica Laflamme‐Yonkman, Simone D. Castellarin, Joerg Bohlmann, Jonathan E. Page, A. Lacey Samuels

The flowers of cannabis are used for the medicinal effects of their particular metabolites. Terpenes and other cannabinoid metabolites are produced in glandular trichomes. Seemingly, the stalked and sessile trichomes in cannabis only differ in size and whether if they have a stalk. This study aims to define each trichome type using patterns of autofluorescence and secretory cell numbers, to test the hypothesis that stalked trichomes develop from sessile‐like precursors, and to test whether metabolic specialization occurs in cannabis glandular trichomes.

Using a glandular trichome intrinsic autofluorescence, a two‐photon microscopy technique was developed which demonstrated that stalked glandular trichomes possessed blue autofluorescence correlated with high cannabinoid levels. It shows that the stalked produces more total cannabinoids than sessile, due to the differences in trichome head diameter. Livingston et al. described the internal anatomy, biochemistry and transcriptome profile of the glandular trichomes. 

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