Date: 15 Jul 2011


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Petunia is considered to be the first cultivated bedding plant and has remained as a commercially important ornamental crop since the early days of horticulture and is one of the favorite genera for developing new varieties. Apart from its significance as an ornamental crop, petunia has proved to be one of the most excellent model crops for studies on gene regulation and genome structure, since the system combines innumerable and excellent technical features with a broad range of research possibilities.

This chapter reviews research reports on petunia under various aspects including origin, distribution, genetic diversity, morphology, anatomy, taxonomy, genomic resources, ploidy status, use in genetic and cytological studies, genetics and biochemistry of flower pigmentation, gene linkage and mapping, male sterility and self-incompatibility, intergeneric, interspecific and somatic hybridization, and genetic transformation.