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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #392701

Research Project: Biobased Pesticide Discovery and Product Optimization and Enhancement from Medicinal and Aromatic Crops

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Agronomy, chemical analysis, and antidiabetic activity of basil (Ocimum species)

item Wang, Mei
item Cantrell, Charles
item MATTHEWS, SURESH - Samford University, School Of Public Health, Department Of Nutrition And Dietetics
item PAUDEL, PRADEEP - University Of Mississippi
item LEE, JOSEPH - University Of Mississippi
item MENTREDDY, SRINIVASA - Alabama A & M University

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2022
Publication Date: 5/11/2022
Citation: Wang, M., Cantrell, C.L., Matthews, S.T., Paudel, P., Lee, J., Mentreddy, S.R. 2022. Agronomy, chemical analysis, and antidiabetic activity of basil (Ocimum species). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Interpretive Summary: Currently the commercial cultivation of Ocimum (basil) has primarily focused upon species which produce the greatest yield in terms of biomass. Although Ocimum has primarily been used as a food, interest in its use as a medicinal herb in recent years has been increasing. To date, a comprehensive biological and analytical method of evaluating the chemical composition and agronomy performance of Ocimum species has been lacking. With this in mind, the authors propose a bio-analytical approach to evaluate the chemical composition and field performance of Ocimum species for use not only as a food item, but also as a botanical ingredient. Rather than solely focusing on agronomic data, this method places additional emphasis on bio-analytical data in order to identify species which can produce high-quality botanical material and provide biologically active compounds. This method, combining both agronomic and bio-analytical data, provides scientific support to aid in the selection of species for commercial production. Although this specific investigation involved Ocimum, it is the authors’ belief that this method could be easily adapted to investigate other plants which are used as botanical ingredients.

Technical Abstract: The use of natural products as potential preventive and therapeutic interventions for diabetes has drawn worldwide attention. The antidiabetic activity of Ocimum has previously been reported; however, the active compound(s) associated with such activity remains elusive. In an effort to identify both an accession that is the most effective against diabetes, and the compound(s) that may be associated with its antidiabetic effects, 16 Ocimum accessions representing six different species were investigated. Fourteen compounds from diverse groups, viz. flavonoids, phenols, and terpenoids were quantified utilizing a LC/DAD/Q-ToF method. The results from the method validation demonstrated excellent linearity (R2 >0.99) and sensitivity as evident by LOD (0.04 – 0.6 µg/mL) and LOQ (0.08 – 1 µg/mL). Likewise, the method was found to be precise (RSD < 6%) with recoveries between 87.7-103.5%. The antidiabetic potential of methanol extracts of all samples was explored via an a-glucosidase inhibitory assay. Data from dose-response studies suggested that the methanol extract of O. gratissimum from Zambia (AR-XLVI-01-13) was comparable to the antidiabetic drug, acarbose. Furthermore, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid present in O. gratissimum were reported for the first time to be responsible for the antidiabetic properties of this plant species. Overall, the reported analytical and biological methods could be employed to evaluate the chemical composition and agronomic performance of Ocimum.