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J Biotechnol. 2009 Aug 20;143(2):157-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2009.05.006. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Elicitation studies in cell suspension cultures of Cannabis sativa L.

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  • 1Pharmacognosy Department/Metabolomics, Institute of Biology, Gorlaeus Laboratories, P.O. Box 9502, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Cannabis sativa L. plants produce a diverse array of secondary metabolites. Cannabis cell cultures were treated with biotic and abiotic elicitors to evaluate their effect on secondary metabolism. Metabolic profiles analysed by (1)H NMR spectroscopy and principal component analysis (PCA) showed variations in some of the metabolite pools. However, no cannabinoids were found in either control or elicited cannabis cell cultures. Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) synthase gene expression was monitored during a time course. Results suggest that other components in the signaling pathway can be controlling the cannabinoid pathway.

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