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Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Genetic Variability and Viral Disease Assessment in Nigeria

Author(s): O.D. Ojo | O.S. Adebayo | O. Olaleye | U. Orkpeh

Journal: Asian Journal of Agricultural Sciences
ISSN 2041-3882

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Basil | quality | variety | variability | virus disease

The study aims at assessing Basil’s genetic phenotypic variability and viral disease incidence in Nigeria for sustainable pathological interventions. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is important for it’s medicinal and nutritive value. It is highly adaptable as a potential crop in the tropics and could therefore enhance the food security of sub Saharan Africa nations. Germplasm seed evaluation and characterization was therefore carried out from the nationwide National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) seed collection survey to expand NIHORT basil genetic base. The field layout was completely randomized design with five replications. The treatments were: O. basilicum, O. gratissimum and the local basil. Treatments were randomly allocated per replication. There were significant phenotypic differences in the O. basilicum variety. These differences were observed in the plant coloration ranging from deep to light purple coloration of stem, leaf, leaf vein and petiole. Our observations also revealed for the first time significant tolerance to Venial Mottle Mosaic Virus (VMMV) in the purple colored compared to the green O. basilicum in the early stages of growth till 50% anthesis. This is the first report of this observation in the African continent. Tolerance to VMMV symptoms increased significantly (LSD 5%) with purplish coloration. We concluded that inducement of purplish coloration in Basil through breeding might improve tolerance to VMMV and thereby increase market value of Basil with sustainable pathological interventions.
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