Influence of Viral Infection on Essential Oil Composition of Ocimum basilicum (Lamiaceae)

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Nagai, Alice [UNESP]
Duarte, Ligia M. L.
Santos, Deborah Y. A. C.

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Natural Products Inc


Ocimum basilicum L., popularly known as sweet basil, is a Lamiaceae species whose essential oil is mainly composed of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and phenylpropanoids. The contents of these compounds can be affected by abiotic and biotic factors such as infections caused by viruses. The main goal of this research was an investigation of the effects of viral infection on the essential oil profile of common basil. Seeds of O. basilicum L. cv. Genovese were sowed and kept in a greenhouse. Plants presenting two pairs of leaves above the cotyledons were inoculated with an unidentified virus isolated from a field plant showing chlorotic yellow spots and foliar deformation. Essential oils of healthy and infected plants were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GCMS. Changes in essential oil composition due to viral infection were observed. Methyleugenol and p-cresol,2,6-di-tert-butyl were the main constituents. However, methyleugenol contents were significantly decreased in infected plants.



essential oil, Ocimum basilicum, sweet basil, plant virus, methyleugenol

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Natural Product Communications. Westerville: Natural Products Inc, v. 6, n. 8, p. 1189-1192, 2011.