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Genetic individualization of Cannabis sativa by a short tandem repeat multiplex system.


Cannabis sativa is the most frequently used of all illicit drugs in the USA. Cannabis has been used throughout history for its stems in the production of hemp fiber, seed for oil and food, and buds and leaves as a psychoactive drug. Short tandem repeats (STRs) were chosen as molecular markers owing to their distinct advantages over other genetic methods. STRs are codominant, can be standardized such that reproducibility between laboratories can be easily achieved, have a high discrimination power, and can be multiplexed. In this study, six STR markers previously described for C. sativa were multiplexed into one reaction. The multiplex reaction was able to individualize 98 cannabis samples (14 hemp and 84 marijuana, authenticated as originating from 33 of the 50 states of the USA) and detect 29 alleles averaging 4.8 alleles per loci. The data did not relate the samples from the same state to each other. This is the first study to report a single-reaction sixplex and apply it to the analysis of almost 100 cannabis samples of known geographic origin.


  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Mendoza MA, Mills DK, Lata H, Chandra S, ElSohly MA, Almirall JR


    Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 393:2 2009 Jan pg 719-26


    DNA, Plant
    Genetic Markers
    Microsatellite Repeats
    Polymerase Chain Reaction
    Reproducibility of Results
    Sensitivity and Specificity

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



    PubMed ID