Traditional Plant Breeding in Ocimum

  • R. K. LalEmail author
  • Pankhuri Gupta
  • C. S. Chanotiya
  • Sougata Sarkar
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Ocimum spp. is an important medicinal and aromatic plant. It has many medicinal properties. It is a rich source of carbohydrates, fibers, iron, β-carotene, vitamins, phosphorous, calcium, protein, and in aromatic oils. It is also used for the treatment in stomach pain, cough and cold, diarrhea and indigestion. Asthma, ulcers, nausea, and ringworm can also be cured with Ocimum. It lowers the blood sugar level and increases lactation. CSIR-CIMAP is actively involved in genetic enhancement of the Ocimum species following with different breeding approach in view of traditional importance. At CSIR-CIMAP, available genetic stocks are seven Ocimum species—Ocimum sanctum—Krishna and Shyam tulsi, O. basilicum, O. kilimandscharicum, O. americanum, O. africanum, O. gratissimum, O. tenuiflorum, and 100 genetic stocks of O. basilicum and nine varieties, namely CIM Ayu, CIM Angana, CIM Saumya, CIM Kanchan, Vikarsudha, CIM Jyoti, CIM Sharada, CIM Surabhi, and CIM Snigdha. In future, there will be possibility to develop varieties for high oil and herb yield with high specific needs chemical like high eugenol, methyl eugenol, methyl cinnamate, geraniol, germacrene A and D, linalool, elemicin, ß-elmene, (Z)-ocimine content with some other herbal products.


Antioxidant Eugenol Genetic improvement Herbal products Ocimum 


  1. Albuguerque U (1996) Taxonomy and ethnobotany of the genus Ocimum. Federal University of Pernambuco, Mexico, pp 48–68Google Scholar
  2. Dhawan SS, Shukla P, Gupta P, Lal RK (2015) A cold-tolerant evergreen interspecific hybrid of Ocimum kilimandscharicum and Ocimum basilicum: analyzing trichomes and molecular variations. Protoplasma 253:845–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Darrah HH (1972) The basils in folklore and biological science. Herbalist 38:3–10Google Scholar
  4. Darrah HH (1974) Investigations of the cultivars of basils (Ocimum). Econ Bot 28:63–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grieve M (1999) A modern herbal. Tiger Books International, London, pp 85–87Google Scholar
  6. Kanebo C (1992) Basil propagation from seedling. Patent application Nr. JP006013Google Scholar
  7. Khosla MK (1989) Chromosomal meiotic behaviour and ploidy nature in genus Ocimum (Lamiaceae), “Sanctum group”. Cytologia 54:223–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lal RK (2014) Breeding for new chemotypes with stable high essential oil yield in Ocimum. Indust Crops Prod 59:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lal RK, Khanuja SPS, Agnihotri AK, Misra HO, Shasany AK, Naqvi AA, Dhawan OP, Kalra A, Bahl JR, Darokar MP (2003) High yielding eugenol rich oil producing variety of Ocimum sanctum-‘CIM-Ayu’. J Med Arom Plant Sci 25:746–747Google Scholar
  10. Lal RK, Khanuja SPS, Agnihotri AK, Shasany AK, Naqvi AA, Dwivedi S, Misra HO, Dhawan OP, Kalara A, Singh A, Bahl JR, Singh S, Patra DD, Agarwal S, Darokar MP, Gupta ML, Chandra R (2004) An early, short duration, high essential oil, methyl chavicol, and linalool yielding variety of Indian Basil (Ocimum basilcum) ‘CIM- Saumya’. J Med Arom Plant Sci 26:77–78Google Scholar
  11. Lal RK, Khanuja SPS, Rizavi H, Shasany AK, Ahmad R, Chandra R, Naqvi AA, Misra HO, Singh A, Singh N, Lohia RS, Bansal K, Darokar MP, Gupta AK, Kalara A, Dhawan OP, Bahl JR, Singh AK, Shankar H, Kumar D, Alam M (2008) Registration of a high yielding dark purple pigmented, variety ‘CIM-Angana’ of Shyam tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L.). J Med Arom Plant Sci 30(1):92–94Google Scholar
  12. Martins AP, Salgueiro LR, Vila R, Tomi F, Canigueral S, Casanova J, Proenca da Cunha A, Adzet T (1999) Composition of the essential oils of O. canum, O. gratissimum and O. minimum. Planta Med 65:187–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Misra RC, Sandeep Kamthan M, Kumar S, Ghosh S (2016) A thaumatin-like protein of Ocimum basilicum confers tolerance to fungal pathogen and abiotic stress in transgenic Arabidopsis. Sci Rep 6:25340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Morales MR, Simon JE (1996) New basil selections with compact inflorescence for the ornamental market. In: Janick J (ed) Progress in new crops. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, pp 543–546Google Scholar
  15. Omidbaigi R, Mirzaee M, Hassani ME, Sedghi M (2010) Induction and identification of polyploidy in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) medicinal plant by colchicine treatment. Int J Plant Prod 4:87–98Google Scholar
  16. Patel RP, Kumar RR, Singh R, Singh RR, Rao B, Singh VR, Gupta P, Lahiri R, Lal RK (2015a) Study of genetic variability pattern and their possibility of exploitation in Ocimum germplasm. Indust Crop Prod 66:119–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Patel RP, Singh R, Saikia SK, Sastry KP, Rao BRR, Zaim M, Lal RK (2015b) Phenotypic characterization and stability analysis for biomass and essential oil yields of fifteen genotypes of five Ocimum species. Indust Crop Prod 77:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Patel RP, Singh R, Rajeswara BRR, Singh RR, Srivastava A, Lal RK (2016) Differential response of genotype × environment on phenology, essential oil yield and quality of natural aroma chemicals of five Ocimum species. Indust Crop Prod 87:210–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Phippen WB, Simon JE (1998) Anthocyanins in basil. J Agric Food Chem 46:1734–1738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Simon JE, Quinn J, Murray RG (1990) Basil, a source of essential oils. In: Janick J, Simon JE (eds) Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, pp 484–489Google Scholar
  21. Simon JE, Morales MR, Phippen WB, Vieira RF, Hao Z (1999) Basil, a source of aroma compounds and a popular culinary and ornamental herb. In: Janick J (ed) Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, pp 499–505Google Scholar
  22. Singh NK, Sehgal CB (1999) Micropropagation of ‘Holy Basil’ (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) from young inflorescences of mature plants. Plant Growth Regul 29:161–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Singh S, Singh A, Singh UB, Patra DD, Khanuja SPS (2004) Intercropping of Indian basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) for enhancing resource utilization efficiency of aromatic grasses. J Spices Arom Crops 2:97–101Google Scholar
  24. Singh S, Sarkar S, Lahiri R, Chandra R, Lal RK (2014) Study of genetic variability, medicinal and economic value of Ocimum germplasm. In: National conference and exhibition on devine medicinal plants, plants based medicinal products, Panchagevya and their role in integrated rural development 21–22 Feb, 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Organized by Council for Development of Rural Areas 2 Vigyan Lok, Delhi-92, India Co-Organizer CSIR, New Delhi, CSIR-NBRI, CSIR-CIMAP, Lucknow. Souvenir, pp 35–36Google Scholar
  25. Sobti SN, Pushpangadan P (1982) Studies in the genus Ocimum, cytogenetics, breeding and production of new strains of economic importance. In: Atal CK, Kapur BM (eds) Cultivation and utilization of aromatic plants. Regional Research, Laboratory, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Jammu-Tawi, India, pp 457–472Google Scholar
  26. Srivastava A, Gupta AK, Sarkara S, Lal RK, Yadav A, Gupta P, Chanotiya CS (2018) Genetic and chemotypic variability in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) germplasm towards future exploitation. Indust Crop Prod 112:815–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zaim M, Pandey R, Singh R, Smita Singh, Anju Yadav, Patel RP, Lal RK (2016) Occurrence of yellow mosaic and leaf curl disease of Ocimum sp. and screening for disease management. Indian Phytopathol 69:415–418Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. K. Lal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pankhuri Gupta
    • 2
  • C. S. Chanotiya
    • 3
  • Sougata Sarkar
    • 4
  1. 1.Genetics and Plant Breeding DivisionCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Biotechnology DivisionCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsLucknowIndia
  3. 3.Analytical Chemistry DivisionCSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic PlantsLucknowIndia
  4. 4.Genetic Resources and Agro-tech DivisionCSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative MedicineJammuIndia

Personalised recommendations