Genetics and Breeding of the Genus Mentha: a Model for Other Polyploid Species with Secondary Constituents


The greatest amount of research on the biochemical pathways and inheritance of the constituents of essential oils has been with the model systems of the genus Mentha. In particular, the genetic work of Dr. Merritt Murray and the biotechnological work of Dr. Rodney Croteau stand out for the amount of good, new data. However, new insights on previously published research in Mentha reveal that cytomixis provides a physical opportunity for complement fractionation, which, in turn, produces transgressive segregation in Mentha. Assimilating almost a century of breeding and biotechnological methods in Mentha, two approaches stand out: (1) γ-irradiation and (2) controlled hybridizations in the field. Are these methods applicable in other polyploid species with essential oils? Are they applicable for other plant constituents?