MSc Final Oral Examination: Serena Page


Interested Members of the University Community are invited to attend the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Science of Serena Page of the Department of Plant Agriculture

Date:  Friday February 26th, 2021
Time:  2:00 PM 
Method: Via Zoom Video Conferencing -
Meeting ID: 990 3923 5854
Passcode: 540162

Thesis Title: A blunt re-evaluation of Cannabis sativa micropropagation practices

Advisory Committee
Dr. Max Jones, Advisor
Dr. praveen Saxena
Dr. John Sulik

Examination Committee
Dr. Peter Pauls, Chair
Dr. Max Jones
Dr. Praveen Saxena
Dr. Davoud Torkamaneh


Cannabis sativa is a versatile crop that has been cultivated for centuries but the long history of prohibition has stifled modern research. As a result, many promising biotechnological tools such as micropropagation are not fully developed and there have been challenges replicating the existing methods. With the growing market, in vitro practices will become crucial for maintaining and protecting Cannabis germplasm, as well as developing other biotechnologies. This thesis re-evaluates the basal salts and plant growth regulators (PGRs) commonly used in existing Cannabis protocols and tests different growing orientations to improve the multiplication rate and general explant health of drug-type cultivars. The results indicate that DKW basal salts are superior to MS basal salts for multiple drug-type cultivars and improved growth and multiplication rate by 1.96x and 1.5x, respectively. In a screen of PGRs, indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), benzyl adenine (BAP), meta-topolin (mT) and thidiazuron (TDZ) provided no significant improvement over DKW basal medium without added PGRs, however, early rooting improved plant growth. Finally, while orientation had a morphological effect, it did not improve growth compared to the control. The results of this thesis provide a foundation for micropropagation of Cannabis and emphasize the need for a broader range of cultivars when optimizing in vitro protocols to accommodate the polymorphic nature of the Cannabis genus.