Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 161–180

Genetic evidence for speciation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae)


DOI: 10.1007/s10722-003-4452-y

Cite this article as:
Hillig, K.W. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2005) 52: 161. doi:10.1007/s10722-003-4452-y


Sample populations of 157 Cannabis accessions of diverse geographic origin were surveyed for allozyme variation at 17 gene loci. The frequencies of 52 alleles were subjected to principal components analysis. A scatter plot revealed two major groups of accessions. The sativa gene pool includes fiber/seed landraces from Europe, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, and ruderal populations from Eastern Europe. The indica gene pool includes fiber/seed landraces from eastern Asia, narrow-leafleted drug strains from southern Asia, Africa, and Latin America, wide-leafleted drug strains from Afghanistan and Pakistan, and feral populations from India and Nepal. A third putative gene pool includes ruderal populations from Central Asia. None of the previous taxonomic concepts that were tested adequately circumscribe the sativa and indica gene pools. A polytypic concept of Cannabis is proposed, which recognizes three species, C. sativa, C. indica and C. ruderalis, and seven putative taxa.


Allozyme Cannabis Evolution Genetics Origin Taxonomy 



– principal components analysis

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Ballston LakeUSA

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