Author(s): Zheljazkov VD, Cantrell CL, Tekwani B, Khan SI
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Abstract A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of cut on biomass productivity, oil content, composition, and bioactivity of Ocimum basilicum L. (cvs. German and Mesten) and Ocimum sanctum L. (syn. O. tenuiflorum L.) (cv. Local) in Mississippi. Yields of basil herbage and essential oil were high and comparable to those reported in the literature. Essential oil content of O. basilicum cv. German varied from 0.40 to 0.75\%, the oil content of cv. Mesten varied from 0.50 to 0.72\%, and the oil content of cv. Local (of O. sanctum) ranged from 0.17 to 0.50\% in air-dried basil. Herbage and essential oil yields of cvs. German and Mesten of O. basilicum increased with the second and then again with the third cut, whereas herbage and oil yields of cv. Local of O. sanctum increased with the third cut relative to the previous cuts. Overall, essential oil yields were 115, 123, and 51 kg/ha for the cvs. German, Mesten, and Local, respectively. The major oil constituents of cvs. German and Mesten (of O. basilicum) were (-)-linalool (30-40\%) and eugenol (8-30\%), whereas the major oil constituents of cv. Local (of O. sanctum) were eugenol (8-43\%) and methylchavicol (15-27\%). Essential oils from both species grown in Mississippi showed in vitro activity against Leishmania donovani (IC50 = 37.3-49.6 microg/mL), which was comparable to the activity of commercial oil (IC50 = 40-50 microg/mL). Minor basil oil constituents (+)-delta-cadinene, 3-carene, alpha-humulene, citral, and (-)- trans-caryophyllene had antileishmanial activity, whereas other constituents were ineffective. None of the oil was cytotoxic to mammalian cells.
This article was published in J Agric Food Chem
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access