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PLoS One. 2015 Aug 26;10(8):e0133292. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133292. eCollection 2015.

The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp.

Author information

1
Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N 5E3, Canada; Anandia Labs, 2259 Lower Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada.
3
Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N 5E3, Canada.
4
The DOC Solutions, 213 West 32nd St, Hamilton, Ontario, L9C 5H3, Canada.
5
Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, P.O. Bag 4000, Vegreville, Alberta, T9C 1T4, Canada.
6
Anandia Labs, 2259 Lower Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada; Botany Department, University of British Columbia, #3529-6270 University Blvd, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z4, Canada.

Abstract

Despite its cultivation as a source of food, fibre and medicine, and its global status as the most used illicit drug, the genus Cannabis has an inconclusive taxonomic organization and evolutionary history. Drug types of Cannabis (marijuana), which contain high amounts of the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are used for medical purposes and as a recreational drug. Hemp types are grown for the production of seed and fibre, and contain low amounts of THC. Two species or gene pools (C. sativa and C. indica) are widely used in describing the pedigree or appearance of cultivated Cannabis plants. Using 14,031 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 81 marijuana and 43 hemp samples, we show that marijuana and hemp are significantly differentiated at a genome-wide level, demonstrating that the distinction between these populations is not limited to genes underlying THC production. We find a moderate correlation between the genetic structure of marijuana strains and their reported C. sativa and C. indica ancestry and show that marijuana strain names often do not reflect a meaningful genetic identity. We also provide evidence that hemp is genetically more similar to C. indica type marijuana than to C. sativa strains.

PMID:
26308334
PMCID:
PMC4550350
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0133292
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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