2004 Volume 27 Issue 11 Pages 1814-1818
The composition of the leaf oils, obtained by hydrodistillation, of five endemic Psiadia species of the Asteraceae family were studied by GC/MS on both polar and non-polar columns. The analysis showed that the volatile components of the oils were made up essentially of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, aliphatics and other shikimic acid derivatives. With respect to the non-volatile components, great variations were observed: P. lithospermifolia contained (E)-isoasarone (51.5%); P. penninervia: eugenol (5.1%); P. terebinthina: eugenyl-acetate (4.0%); P. viscosa: pentyl-4-(1-methylethyl benzoate) (25.8%); P. arguta: isoeugenol (56.5%). In vitro antimicrobial assays using the agar-well diffusion method, revealed that most of the oils were not very active against the tested microorganisms except for that of P. lithospermifolia, which significantly inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aureofaciens, Aspergillus ochraceus, Candida pseudotropicalis, Kluyveromyces lactis and Fusarium moniliforme. This activity has been attributed to the presence of δ-elemene, (E)-farnesene, α-curcumene, selina-4,7(11)-diene, (E,Z)-α-farnesene, β-bisabolene some of which have established antimicrobial profiles. Likewise, the fungi toxic action of the oil of P. arguta against Aspergillus ochraceus, Candida pseudotropicalis, and Fusarium moniliforme, may be attributed to the presence of isoeugenol, eugenol being known to be mycotoxic especially against Aspergillus species.