Medicinal Plant Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Black cohosh diversity
Research on black cohosh (Actaea racemosa L.) is designed
to analyze the overall diversity of the species by comparing genetic,
morphological, and phytochemical data obtained from 26 naturally
occurring populations of the plant. Understanding the diversity
of the species will aid in plant breeding and conservation work
related to this popular medicinal plant.
Medical marijuana permit application
In association with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
Studies (MAPS), MPP investigators are in the process of seeking
DEA permission to establish a medical marijuana production facility
on the UMass Amherst campus to produce test material for FDA-approved
research. At present, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
is the only U.S. producer of marijuana that can be used in medical
research. Although the original application for a production license
was submitted to the DEA in June 2001, to date, the DEA has not
issued an official decision on granting the production license.
for more details.
Mint breeding for drought tolerance
The objective of this research is to provide drought tolerant
strains of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) and peppermint
(Mentha x piperita L.). As the amount of arable
land on earth decreases due to desertification, non-food crops
will need to be adapted to growing on marginalized land. Drought
tolerant selections of mint can be grown as a cash crop by farmers
cultivating marginal land.
Goldenseal genetic diversity
The current research on goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis
L.) is examining the degree of genetic variation within and between
wild populations of goldenseal. The objectives of the research
are to develop a general understanding of genetic variation in
the species and to determine the significance of sexual versus
asexual reproduction in the survival of the species.
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