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Analysis of the NMI01 Marker for a Population Database of Cannabis Seeds§


  • Funding provided by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), National Marijuana Initiative (NMI).
  • Presented in part at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), February 22–27, 2010, in Seattle, WA; 2010 NMI-CAMP Annual Meeting, May 10–13, in San Diego, CA; Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS), November 4–7, 2009, in Long Branch, NJ.
  • §The research presented here in this article reflects the work and opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the agencies listed herein.

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Heather Miller Coyle, Ph.D.

Forensic Science Department

Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice & Forensic Sciences

University of New Haven

300 Boston Post Road

West Haven, CT 06516



We have analyzed the distribution of genotypes at a single hexanucleotide short tandem repeat (STR) locus in a Cannabis sativa seed database along with seed-packaging information. This STR locus is defined by the polymerase chain reaction amplification primers CS1F and CS1R and is referred to as NMI01 (for National Marijuana Initiative) in our study. The population database consists of seed seizures of two categories: seed samples from labeled and unlabeled packages regarding seed bank source. Of a population database of 93 processed seeds including 12 labeled Cannabis varieties, the observed genotypes generated from single seeds exhibited between one and three peaks (potentially six alleles if in homozygous state). The total number of observed genotypes was 54 making this marker highly specific and highly individualizing even among seeds of common lineage. Cluster analysis associated many but not all of the handwritten labeled seed varieties tested to date as well as the National Park seizure to our known reference database containing Mr. Nice Seedbank and Sensi Seeds commercially packaged reference samples.

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