Genomic profile of the plants with pharmaceutical value
Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were used to evaluate the genetic stability of the micropropagated plants of Cannabis sativa over 30 passages in culture and hardening in soil for 8 months. A total of 15 ISSR primers resulted in 115 distinct and reproducible bands. All the ISSR profiles from micropropagated plants were monomorphic and comparable to mother plants, confirming the genetic stability among clones and mother plants. Chemical analysis of cannabinoids, using gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (GC/FID), was done to further confirm whether the qualitative and quantitative differences in the major secondary metabolites exist between the mother plant and micropropagated plants. Six major cannabinoids - Delta(9)-THC, THCV, CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBN - were identified and compared with the mother plant. Our results clearly showed a similar cannabinoid profile and insignificant differences in THC content between the two types of plants. These results suggest that the micropropagation protocol developed by us for rapid IN VITRO multiplication is appropriate and applicable for clonal mass propagation of C. SATIVA.