Generic Resources and Crop Evollllion 52: 161-180, 2005.
Karl W. Hillig
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA; Current address: 1010 Saratoga Road, Ballston Lake, NY 12019
Received 7 January 2003; accepted in revised form 28 June 2003
Keywords: Allozyme, Cannabis, Evolution, Genetics, Origin, Taxonomy
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.