Tissue culture procedures for shoot development in drug varieties of Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana or cannabis) from meristems or nodes followed by rooting and acclimatization were investigated in seven strains. Sodium metasilicate and silver nitrate are novel compounds to tissue culture of cannabis. Sodium metasilicate improved the visual appearance of the leaflets and both sodium metasilicate and silver nitrate improved the rate of rooting. Contamination of nodal explants by bacteria, fungi and yeasts was high but shoots derived from meristems had no contaminants. Explants from leaves and petioles were tested for callus induction using various medium formulations. Callus induction was most successful on multiplication medium without charcoal. No regeneration or somatic embryos from callus were observed in this study. Meristems and Nodal explants were able to produce shoots on multiplication media but propagation of cannabis through direct or indirect regeneration is strain-dependent and influenced by microbial contaminants and frequency of rooting.
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Thesis advisor: Punja, Zamir
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