Friday, December 3, 2010

The Biotechnology of Cannabis Sativa

The Biotechnology of Cannabis Sativa
Written by Sam R. Zwenger, April, 2009


Marijuana, whose scientific name is Cannabis sativa, is perhaps the most famous plant ever discovered by humans. Since its discovery it has been used by millions of people for both inducing pleasure and alleviating pain.Cannabis has a rich history, complex biology and a fascinating physiology.

Molecular biology and plant biotechnology are only beginning to uncover the secrets of this plant. Scientists now have the opportunity to growCannabis plants in vitro (in a test tube or Petri dish), thereby being able to genetically modify these plants in dozens of ways. FluorescentCannabis, THC-producing roses,Cannabis that climbs like a vine, and phenomenal increases in branch number and flower size are only a few of the ways in which this plant can be enhanced through biotechnology.

The tools of biotechnology, such as DNA sequencing and gene cloning, are speeding up the reality that this highly controversial plant will continue to make an impact on human societies for generations to come. This book covers advances and techniques on how to grow plant tissue in vitro, genetically modify this tissue, and re-grow it in order to produce a transgenic Cannabis plant. Anyone who wants to know what the future holds for Cannabis sativa and marijuana should read this book.

A Cannabis callus that has been genetically modified with the GFP gene is shown growing in a Magenta box. When its roots, shoot and leaves have further developed, it can be placed in soil and moved to a growth chamber.


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