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Objective To assess the feasibility of the rbcL sequence of chloroplast DNA as a genetic marker to identify Cannabis sativa L. Methods The rbcL sequences in 62 Cannabis sativa L. samples, 10 Humulus lupulus samples and 10 Humulus scandens DNA samples were detected, and 96 rbcL sequences of the Cannabaceae family were downloaded from Genbank. Sequence alignment was performed by MEGA X software, the intraspecific and interspecific Kimura-2-Parameter (K2P) genetic distances were calculated, and the system clustering tree was constructed. Results The rbcL sequence length acquired by sequencing of Cannabis sativa L. and Humulus scandens were 617 bp and 649 bp, respectively, and two haplotypes of Cannabis sativa L. were observed in the samples. The BLAST similarity search results showed that the highest similarity between the sequences acquired by sequencing and Cannabis sativa L. rbcL sequences available from Genbank was 100%. The genetic distance analysis showed that the maximum intraspecific genetic distance (0.004 9) of Cannabis sativa L. was less than the minimum interspecific genetic distance (0.012 9). The results of median-joining network and system clustering tree analysis showed that Cannabis sativa L. and other members of the Cannabaceae family were located in different branches. Conclusion The rbcL sequence could be used as a DNA barcode for identifying Cannabis sativa L., and combined with comparative analysis of the rbcL sequence and system cluster analysis could be a reliable and effective detection method for Cannabis sativa L. identification in forensic investigation. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine.


R C Xia, X C Zhang, X X Wang, Q Yang, C Chen, H Yu, Y L Qu, Z W Wang, Y Shi, P Xiang, S H Zhang, C T Li. Identification of Cannabis Sativa L. Based on rbcL Sequence. Fa yi xue za zhi. 2021 Apr;37(2):187-191

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PMID: 34142479

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