Basil production in Germany takes place in specialized farms, where since 2006 the appearance of the downy mildew pathogen (Peronospora belbahrii) on basil has been regularly observed. Contaminated seeds with the pathogen act as primary inoculum source and secondary the air distributed spores. The control of the downy mildew pathogen on seed and on basil crop is limited and efficient methods are not available. Hence, the cultivation of resistant sweet basil cultivars is an efficient control strategy.
Recent available resistant basil plants are characterized mainly by properties of the origin wild type. These properties have to be eliminated by backcrossing with the consumer preferred Genovese type. The goal of the project is the backcrossing of resistant basil plants based on NILs with cultivars of the Genovese type. The introgression of resistant properties against downy mildew will be combined with the build-up of a mapping population as basis of a marker supported breeding program.
The goal of the project is the generation and characterization of populations of „near isogenic lines“ (NILs) of basil as basis for breeding of basil cultivars with resistance against downy mildew. This will allow the marketing of high quality basil free of pesticide residues. The generation of resistant plant material from resistant basil wild populations is a successful strategy for breeding of marketable basil cultivars with properties accepted by consumers.