“Our guests reaction shows – We should share our knowledge”

Yannik Schlup, Chief Scientific Officer at Puregene AG, welcomes the invited guests to the first “Field Day on Flower-Type Hemp” in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland – the goal is to give visitors an understanding of the company’s breeding work with and around cannabis.

Yannik Schlup, who are your guests today?
YANNIK SCHLUP: Our first “Field Day” is dedicated to our research and breeding activities. Our visitors have an academic background and are mainly involved in research. We are very pleased that employees from ETH Zurich – from molecular plant breeding and synthetic biology, Agroscope and the Swiss Society of Plant Sciences have found their way to us.

Which topics will Pure present in greater depth today?
YS: We are presenting our breakthrough activities on trait discovery, pre-breeding and breeding of novel cannabis varieties while ultimately showing that hemp breeding and its further development is also carried out at the highest and most modern level.

What does that mean in detail?
YS: Amid these wonderful plants we are explaining to our visitors how our breeding process works – from variety selection, to discovering traits, to phenotyping. But we also explain variety trials and the important transition to sales.
To be precise, the questions we are answering are: What is the female flower we want to preserve? What have we found out about our plants? What information do we obtain on structure, number of leaves or maturity status? What is the structure of our experiments and what kind of populations do we have? Furthermore, we are also explaining the process we follow. This means cutting, weighing and taking photos of plants, making cross sections and taking representative samples as well as drying them. In summary we are feeding our big data models to subsequently enter the gained knowledge into our breeding pipeline in our laboratory.

So the work from the laboratory is also addressed?
YS: Certainly. We are highlighting the complete cycle. Collecting and expanding data, assigning traits to the genome, finding out what information is needed, but also how the gained knowledge is finding its way back to the field.

What is your personal conclusion about Pure’s first “Field Day”?
YS: We are happy to see the tremendous interest that our guests are showing, and I am amazed how much fun they are having here with us today. This is an important learning and confirms that we should share our knowledge and make information more widely available.

In 2018 Yannik Schlup graduated from the ETH Zurich with a Master’s degree in agricultural sciences. Since 2020 he has been Chief Scientific Officer at Puregene AG.