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Sweet basil is the most commercially important annual culinary herb crop grown in the U.S. and one of the most popular garden herbs. Commercially, basil is grown for culinary use for both fresh and dry consumption and to a limited extent is a commercial source of essential oil and oleoresin that are used in perfumes, food flavors, and aromatherapy products.
Rutgers' basil breeding program is headed by Dr. James Simon, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology in New Brunswick, and Dr. Andy Wyenandt, located at the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center near Bridgeton, New Jersey. Collaborators in the project include researchers, extension personnel, and graduate students from Rutgers, Cornell University, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Florida.