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Ocimum spp.

The recent focus of basil (Ocimum spp.) research in the NUANNP involves breeding and selection for improved disease resistance (downy mildew & Fusarium wilt), chilling tolerance and aroma/flavor attributes. Our trait improvement programs are informed by investigation of heritability and gene action through classic, reverse genetics studies. We employ a range of breeding strategies (backcross, pedigree, recurrent, SSD and others) to develop advanced lines with superior characteristics currently in order to meet industry and grower demands.

Our team is now implementing modern genomic sequencing techniques including genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and transcriptome profiling to bring genetic study of basil as a system to the 21st century. We have recently developed a SNP and SSR based linkage map from an F2 mapping family and are working towards development of DNA markers associated with disease resistance and key aromatic volatiles. We hope to provide the first molecular tools available for breeding sweet basil.


Pyne RM, Koroch AR, Wyenandt CA, Simon JE. 2015. Inheritance of Resistance to Downy Mildew in Sweet Basil. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 140: 396–403.

Wyenandt, C. A., Simon, J. E., Pyne, R. M., Homa, K., McGrath, M. T., Zhang, S., … & Madeiras, A. (2015). Basil downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii): Discoveries and challenges relative to its control. Phytopathology, 105(7), 885-894.

Homa, K., Barney, W. P., Ward, D. L., Wyenandt, C. A., & Simon, J. E. (2014). Evaluation of fungicides for the control of Peronospora belbahrii on sweet basil in New Jersey. Plant Disease, 98(11), 1561-1566.

Pyne RM, Koroch AR, Wyenandt CA, Simon JE. 2014. A Rapid Screening Approach to Identify Resistance to Basil Downy Mildew ( Peronospora belbahrii ). HortScience. 49: 1041–1045.

Koroch, A. R., Villani, T. S., Pyne, R. M., & Simon, J. E. (2013). Rapid staining method to detect and identify downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii) in basil. Applications in plant sciences, 1(7).

Deschamps, C., & Simon, J. E. (2010). Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis in leaves and glandular trichomes of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). Plant Secondary Metabolism Engineering: Methods and Applications, 263-273.

Koroch, A. R., Juliani, H. R., Sims, C., & Simon, J. E. (2010). Antioxidant activity, total phenolics, and rosmarinic acid content in different basils (Ocimum spp.). Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 58(3-4), 191-195.

Wyenandt, C. A., Simon, J. E., McGrath, M. T., & Ward, D. L. (2010). Susceptibility of basil cultivars and breeding lines to downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii). HortScience, 45(9), 1416-1419.

Deschamps, C., & Simon, J. E. (2006). Terpenoid essential oil metabolism in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) following elicitation. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 18(6), 618-621.
Vieira, R. F., & Simon, J. E. (2006). Chemical characterization of basil (Ocimum spp.) based on volatile oils. Flavour and fragrance journal, 21(2), 214-221.

Vieira, R. F., Goldsbrough, P., & Simon, J. E. (2003). Genetic diversity of basil (Ocimum spp.) based on RAPD markers. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 128(1), 94-99.

Deschamps, C., & Simon, J. (2002). Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of Ocimum basilicum and O. citriodorum. Plant Cell Reports, 21(4), 359-364.

Juliani, H. R., & Simon, J. E. (2002). Antioxidant activity of basil. Trends in new crops and new uses, 575.