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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR PEST MANAGEMENT AND CROP DEVELOPMENT

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Yield and Composition of Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum sanctum L. Grown at Four Locations

Authors
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho - N. MS RES. & EXT. CTR.
item Cantrell, Charles
item Evans, William - TRUCK CROPS EXP. STN.
item Ebelhar, M. Wayne - DELTA RES. & EXT. CTR.
item Coker, Christine - COASTAL RES. & EXT. CTR.

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2008
Publication Date: June 2, 2008
Citation: Zheljazkov, V.D., Cantrell, C.L., Evans, W.B., Ebelhar, M., Coker, C. 2008. Yield and Composition of Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum sanctum L. Grown at Four Locations. HortScience. 43(3):737-741.

Interpretive Summary: Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.) are the most widely grown basil species in the world, either for the fresh market or for essential oil production. Both species are considered as promising essential oil crops in the Southeastern US, however, research on oil production and composition of these species in Mississippi and the Southeastern US are lacking. The objective of this study was to evaluate biomass productivity, oil content, and oil composition of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cvs. 'German' and 'Mesten', and holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.) cv. 'Local', grown at four locations in Mississippi. Overall, the three basil cultivars grew well; the fresh herbage and essential oil yields at three of the locations were high and comparable to basil yields reported in the literature. Our results suggest sweet and holy basils have a potential as new essential oil crops for Mississippi and possibly the Southeastern US and can provide oil yields and composition typical for the respective species.

Technical Abstract: Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.) are the most widely grown basil species in the world, either for the fresh market or for essential oil production. Both species are considered as promising essential oil crops in the Southeastern US, however, research on oil production and composition of these species in Mississippi and the Southeastern US are lacking. The objective of this study was to evaluate biomass productivity, oil content, and oil composition of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) cvs. 'German' and 'Mesten', and holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.) cv. 'Local', grown at four locations in Mississippi. Overall, the three basil cultivars grew well; the fresh herbage and essential oil yields at three of the locations were high and comparable to basil yields reported in the literature. Essential oil content in dry herbage and the essential oil yield in kg.ha-1 were as follows: 0.07-0.50% and 0.7-11.0 kg.ha-1 in sweet basil cv. 'Mesten', 0.2-0.5% and 1.4-13.0 kg.ha-1 in sweet basil cv. 'German', and 0.08-0.40% and 0.6-5.3 kg.ha-1 in holy basil cv. 'Local', respectively. The main constituent of sweet basil cultivars was (–)-linalool, with other constituents (–)-camphor, a-humulene, eucalyptol, eugenol, (–)-bornyl acetate, methyl chavicol, (–)-trans-caryophyllene, a-trans-bergamotene, and cadinol. The main constituents of holy basil were methyl chavicol, eugenol, and eucalyptol, with other constitutents a-humulene, humulene-epoxide II, (–)-trans-caryophyllene, a-trans-bergamotene, and y-cadinene. Our results suggest sweet and holy basils have a potential as new essential oil crops for Mississippi and possibly the Southeastern US and can provide oil yields and composition typical for the respective species.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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