Genetic Heterogeneity In Family Lamiaceae

The major problem in the use of phytopharmaceuticals from the family Lamiaceae is the plant-to-plant variability of specific metabolites due to the genetic heterogeneity common to all species in this family. Much of this genetic heterogeneity is the result of gynodioecy, resulting in breeding character being influenced by natural cross-pollination (15). Floral diversity and bee pollination also contribute to high cross-pollination. This gives rise to substantial variability in active ingredient levels and quality (16,17). Therefore, the biochemical characterization of pathways and genetic access to specific metabolites in all species in Lamiaceae is difficult. Each plant within a given sample extract originates from a different heterozygous seed. Also, this makes breeding of elite varieties targeting enhancement of specific metabolites very challenging. Current genetic improvements have been limited to random selection and in some cases vegetative propagation (18).

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