Validation study for constructing a database for Cannabis Sativa using amplified fragment length polymorphism

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Stephen Winkle

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jose Almirall

Third Advisor's Name

Bradley Bennett

Date of Defense



The purpose of this research was to develop a strategy for the DNA typing of Cannabis sativa. DNA typing was accomplished by using the Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) method. Cannabis (marijuana) was selected because it is an illegal substance grown across the United States and in other countries and the sourcing of this plant is of interest to law enforcement agencies. While some peaks may be shared, the overall peak profile is expected to contain some peak differences between individuals. The AFLP procedure was performed on 25 different cannabis samples using four different primer combinations. In all of the AFLP profiles, there were significant peak differences that allowed for all the samples to be distinguished. The samples that were genetically related displayed the same peak profiles in the electropherograms and the samples that were not related possessed unique profiles. The development and validation of the AFLP method would lead to the creation of a database that could then be used to link cloned samples and to track distribution networks and, ultimately, individual plants could be linked together.



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