Submitted to: International Phyotherapy Research Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2002
Publication Date: 4/19/2002
Citation: Kyle, S.K., Svoboda, K.P., Widrlechner, M.P. 2002. Variability in the source of plant material: a case study of basil biodiversity and chemotypes. Bioforce Phytotherapy Research Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 19 April. Conference Abstracts. (unpaged) Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Essential oils occur in about 17500 aromatic species, and they accumulate in wide range of plant parts. The concentrations of these oils are quite low, ranging between 0.01-3.0 percent and rising to 10.0 percent. The USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, Iowa conserves extensive collections of culinary and aromatic plants. One of the most important collections is that of basil (the genus Ocimum), which provides an important reservoir of valuable genes for developing new cultivars. The NCRPIS currently maintains 96 accessions of Ocimum representing distinct populations of 7 different species. The aim of this work was to conduct a chemical analysis of the essential oils of these accessions and compare the results with classical morphological descriptions. In addition, selected oils were tested for antifungal activity and mode of action. All accessions were cultivated under glass at the NCRPIS. Plants were harvested, dried and shipped to the Scottish Agricultural College for distillation (BP Standard Methods, 1985) and analysis by GC and GC-MS. Accessions were divided into 5 groups according to their chemotypes. Several samples had unusual chemical compositions previously undescribed in the literature. Geographical origin, classical morphological taxonomy and phytochemical classification were critically compared. Basil species provide a rich source of flavors and fragrances that can be further utilised in various industries. It is important to identify specific chemotypes for particular uses. The consistency of the origin and identity of plant material, stability and high quality of chemical composition are of primary concern for further commercial exploitation.