Plants (Basel). 2022 May 18;11(10):1333. doi: 10.3390/plants11101333.
An alternative in vitro propagation protocol for medical Cannabis sativa L. cultivars for pharmaceutical industrial use was established. The aim of the protocol was to reduce the culture time, offering healthy and aseptic propagating material, while making the whole process more economic for industrial use. The propagation procedure was performed using plastic autoclavable vented and non-vented vessels, containing porous rooting fine-milled sphagnum peat moss-based sponges, impregnated in ½ Murashige and Skoog liquid growth medium, supplemented with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) at various concentrations (0, 2.46, 4.92, and 9.84 µM) or by dipping nodal cuttings into 15 mM IBA aqueous solution. The highest average root numbers per cutting, 9.47 and 7.79 for high cannabidiol (H_CBD) and high cannabigerol (H_CBG) varieties, respectively, were achieved by dipping the cuttings into IBA aqueous solution for 4 min and then placing them in non-vented vessels. The maximum average root length in H_CBD (1.54 cm) and H_CBG (0.88 cm) was ascertained using 2.46 μM filter sterilized IBA in non-vented vessels. Filter-sterilized IBA at concentrations of 2.46 μM in vented and 4.92 μM in non-vented vessels displayed the maximum average rooting percentages in H_CBD (100%) and H_CBG (95.83%), respectively. In both varieties, maximum growth was obtained in non-vented vessels, when the medium was supplemented with 4.92 μM filter-sterilized IBA. Significant interactions between variety and vessel type and variety and IBA treatments were observed in relation to rooting traits. Approximately 95% of plantlets were successfully established and acclimatized in field. This culture system can be used not only for propagating plant material at an industrial scale but also to enhance the preservation and conservation of Cannabis genetic material.