Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2021 Jun 17. doi: 10.1089/can.2020.0168. Online ahead of print.
Background: Cannabis plants and their seed have been used in many cultures as a source of medicine and feeding during history. Today, there is an increasing demand for cannabis seeds for medical use. Moreover, a seed sales market with no legal regulations has also grown. This may pose some issues if a quality control is not set in place. Identification of cannabis strains is important for quality control purposes in a nonregulated growing market and in cases of illegal traffic and medical use. Owing to the high price as a pharmacological drug, commercial products of cannabis plants and seeds for medical users are often subjected to adulterations, either when packing or distributing certified seeds in the market. Materials and Methods: Cannabis commercial seeds and cannabis seeds for medical use were analyzed with high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis using barcoding markers. Humulus lupulus L. plants from a local market were used as outgroup control. DNA barcoding uses specific regions of the genome to identify differences in the genetic sequence of conserved regions such as internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and rbcL. DNA barcoding data can be generated with real-time polymerase chain reaction combined with HRM analysis to distinguish specific conserved DNA regions of closely related species. HRM analysis is the method of choice for rapid analysis of sequence variation. Results: The melting temperature (Tm) of homogeneous packages was consistent with single genotypes. However, packages containing contaminating seeds showed Tm differences of 0.2°C on average. Conclusions: An effective, rapid, and low-cost method based on ITS nuclear DNA and on chloroplast rbcL regions for screening and detection of contamination in commercial cannabis seeds was developed and applied for the analysis of different samples. This approach can be used as a quality control tool for cannabis seeds or other plant material.
Source: ncbi 2