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Chemical Analysis and Biological Activity of the Essential Oils of Two Endemic Soqotri Commiphora Species

Author(s): Ramzi A. Mothana | Adnan J. Al-Rehaily | Wulf Schultze

Journal: Molecules
ISSN 1420-3049

Volume: 15;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 689;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Commiphora ornifolia | Commiphora parvifolia | Soqotra | essential oil | antimicrobial | antioxidant | Yemen

The barks of two endemic Commiphora species namely, Commiphora ornifolia (Balf.f.) Gillett and Commiphora parvifolia Engl., were collected from Soqotra Island in Yemen and their essential oils were obtained by hydrodistillation. The chemical composition of both oils was investigated by GC and GC-MS. Moreover, the essential oils were evaluated for their antimicrobial activity against two Gram-positive bacteria, two Gram-negative bacteria and one yeast species by using a broth micro-dilution assay for minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and for their antioxidant activity by measuring the DPPH radical scavenging activity. A total of 45 constituents of C. ornifolia (85.6%) and 44 constituents of C. parvifolia (87.1%) were identified. The oil of C. ornifolia was characterized by a high content of oxygenated monoterpenes (56.3%), of which camphor (27.3%), α-fenchol (15.5%), fenchone (4.4%) and borneol (2.9%) were identified as the main components. High contents of oxygenated sesquiterpenes (36.1%) and aliphatic acids (22.8%) were found in C. parvifolia oil, in which caryophyllene oxide (14.2%), β-eudesmol (7.7%), bulnesol (5.7%), T-cadinol (3.7%) and hexadecanoic acid (18.4%) predominated. The results of the antimicrobial assay showed that both oils exhibited moderate to high antibacterial activity especially against Gram-positive bacteria. C. ornifolia oil was the most active. In addition, the DPPH-radical scavenging assay exhibited only weak antioxidant activities for both oils at the high concentration tested.

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