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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCOVERY AND UTILIZATION OF BIOACTIVE COMPONENTS FROM NEW CROPS AND AGRICULTURAL CO-PRODUCTS

Location: Functional Foods Research Unit

Title: Antifungal activity of heartwood extracts from three Juniperus species

Authors
item Tumen, I -
item Eller, Fred
item Clausen, C -
item Teel, Jeffrey

Submitted to: BioResources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 29, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Tumen, I., Eller, F.J., Clausen, C.A., Teel, J.A. 2013. Antifungal activity of heartwood extracts from three Juniperus species. Bioresources. 8(1):12-20.

Interpretive Summary: This research determined that heartwood extracts from three species of Juniperus (i.e., Eastern red cedar, Western juniper and Ashe juniper) had significant antifungal activity against four species of wood-rot fungi. These three species of junipers are all very abundant in the United States and are currently an underutilized resource with great potential for commercialization. Sawdust made from the heartwood of these three species was extracted with hexane, ethanol and methanol to determine the essential oil yields and chemical compositions. Ashe juniper gave the highest yield followed by Eastern red cedar and then Western juniper. Western juniper had the highest level of cedrol, while Ashe juniper contained the highest level of thujopsene. Methanol and ethanol gave the highest yields as well as slightly higher percentage of cedrol. The juniper extracts were slightly more active against white-rot fungi than brown-rot fungi. The ethanol extracts had higher antifungal activity than the hexane extracts. The Ashe juniper extracts had the greatest bioactivity against the wood-rot fungi. These results demonstrate that essential oils from junipers have potential as an environmentally friendly natural wood preservative from a renewable and underutilized resource.

Technical Abstract: Heartwood samples from three species of Juniperus (i.e., J. virginianna, J. occidentalis, and J. ashei) were extracted with hexane, ethanol and methanol and the hexane and ethanol extracts were tested for antifungal activity against four species of wood-rot fungi. These three species represent the junipers with the greatest potential for commercialization. Ashe juniper gave the highest yield followed by Eastern red cedar and then Western juniper. Western juniper contained the highest level of cedrol, while Ashe juniper contained the highest level of thujopsene. Methanol and ethanol gave the highest yields as well as slightly higher percentages of cedrol and widdrol. The juniper extracts were more active against white-rot fungi than brown-rot fungi. The ethanol extracts had higher antifungal activity than the hexane extracts. The Ashe juniper extracts had the greatest bioactivity against the wood-rot fungi.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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