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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376637

Research Project: Methyl Bromide Replacement: Mitigation of the Invasive Pest Threat from the American Tropics and Subtropics

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Biological activity of matricaria chamomilla essential oils of various chemotypes

item HOEFERI, MARTINA - University Of Vienna
item WANNER, JUERGEN - Kurt Kitzing Co
item Tabanca, Nurhayat
item ABBAS, ALI - University Of Mississippi
item GOCHEV, VELIZAR - Plovdiv University
item SCHMIDT, ERICH - Plovdiv University
item KAUL, VIJAY - Institute Of Himalayan Bioresource Technology
item SINGH, VIRENDRA - Institute Of Himalayan Bioresource Technology
item JIROVETZ, LEOPOLD - University Of Vienna

Submitted to: Planta Medica International Open
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2020
Publication Date: 7/15/2020
Citation: Hoeferi, M., Wanner, J., Tabanca, N., Abbas, A., Gochev, V., Schmidt, E., Kaul, V.K., Singh, V., Jirovetz, L. 2020. Biological activity of matricaria chamomilla essential oils of various chemotypes. Planta Medica International Open. 7: e114–e121.

Interpretive Summary: Chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla L. (Asteraceae) is one of the world’s leading herbal products used in perfumes, cosmetics, and the food industry. The international demand for chamomile is growing rapidly, resulting in extensive cultivation in different regions. However, differences in climate and geographic factors may result in variations in the chemical profile of chamomile essential oils (CEOs). The first objective of this study was to compare the chemical composition of CEOs from various origins (four commercial sources, one cultivated, one wild collection). The second objective was to evaluate the CEOs for antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal pathogens as well as repellent and insecticidal activity against yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). To accomplish these objectives, a scientist from the USDA-ARS (Miami, FL) collaborated with researchers from Mississippi, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, and India. Results showed that commercially available CEOs from Hungary (A), South Africa (B), Serbia (C) and India (D) contained a remarkably high content of the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon (E)-ß-farnesene compared to the wild collection from Hungary (E) and a cultivated sample from North India (F). The latter two samples (E and F) were also rich in oxygenated sesquiterpenes such as a-bisabolol, a-bisabolol oxides A and B and a-bisabolone oxide A. In biological assays, CEOs showed moderate antimicrobial activity. All CEOs had a biting deterrent effect comparable to the standard insect repellent DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), and samples B and F demonstrated the highest toxicity against mosquito larvae, likely due to their high content in spiroethers. These results will facilitate development of potential new biopesticides for mosquito control.

Technical Abstract: The essential oil of Matricaria chamomilla L., which is commonly used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes, can be differentiated between several chemotypes. In the current study, six essential chamomile oil samples of various origins (four of commercial sources, one of cultivation, one of wild collection) were examined regarding their composition and biological activities, i. e., antibacterial, antifungal, mosquito repellent, and larvicidal effects. GC-MS analyses revealed that the samples largely varied in composition and could be attributed to various chemotypes. In contrast to the other two samples, the four commercial samples were unusually high in trans-ß-farnesene. The overall antimicrobial effects were only moderate, but it could be shown that a higher content in a-bisabolol and a smaller in a-bisabolol oxides A and B had a positive effect on overall activity. All samples had a biting deterrent effect comparable to DEET. Higher concentrations of (Z )- and (E )-spiroethers improved larvicidal activity, whereas trans-ß-farnesene had the opposite effect. In conclusion, the importance of abisabolol for the biological activity of chamomile essential oil could be demonstrated.