Marina Alekseeva, Tzvetelina Zagorcheva, Ivan Atanassov and Krasimir Rusanov
Agricultural Academy, Department of Agrobiotechnology, Molecular Genetics Group, AgroBioInstitute, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
Alekseeva, M., Zagorcheva, Tz., Atanassov, I. & Rusanov, K. (2020). Origanum vulgare L. –a review on genetic diversity, cultivation, biological activities and perspectives for molecular breeding. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 26 (6), 1183–1197
Origanum vulgare L. or simply called oregano is a flowering plant of the Lamiaceae family, which has been known since ancient times due to its diverse properties and applications as a culinary spice but also as a herb with medicinal properties. It is widespread throughout the Mediterranean, Western and Southwestern Eurasia and in the Irano-Turanian regions. Being a popular medicinal plant with well-known application in traditional medicine due to its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties among others, O. vulgare has been a subject of extensive research related to analysis of genetic diversity, possibility for cultivation as well as analysis of the composition and biological activities of its essential oil and plant extracts. Here we present a short review on this species with an accent on the recent progress in genetic diversity studies, applying modern DNA marker systems, possibilities for cultivation, composition and evaluation of the biological activities of the obtained essential oil and different plant extracts as well as the perspectives for molecular breeding of improved cultivars with desired agronomic traits, based on the current and emerging knowledge.