Novel Sweet Basil Resistant to Downy Mildew

Reduced downy mildew symptoms and pathogen load two weeks after Peronospora belbahrii fungus exposure. Left panel: Gene-edited sweet basil; Right panel: Non-gene- edited sweet basil

Invention Summary:

Rutgers University scientists have developed a gene-edited sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum) line that is resistant to downy mildew by using CRISPR-editing technology.

Specifically, CRISPR-gene editing was used to edit the sweet basil plants to reduce expression of homoserine kinase (HSK) and 2-oxoglutarate-Fe(II) oxygenase (2OGO). The novel basil has been tested for resistance against the oomycete fungus Peronospora belbahrii, which causes downy mildew.

The gene-edited sweet basil plants showed significantly reduced pathogen load and absence of visual symptoms of downy mildew two weeks after pathogen inoculation.

Market Applications:

  • Sweet basil cultivars resistant to downy mildew


  • Reduces use of chemical fungicides
  • Increased basil output due to reduced losses
  • Little impact on environment due to no chemical runoff
  • No known toxicity
  • Economical

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Deborah Perez
Associate Director, Physical Sciences & Ag
Rutgers University