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Assessing the Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils from Brazilian Plants - Eremanthus erythropappus (Asteraceae), Plectrantuns barbatus, and P. amboinicus (Lamiaceae)


The chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils obtained from three Brazilian plant species - leaves and branches of Eremanthus erythropappus (Asteraceae), leaves of Plectranthus barbatus, and leaves of P. amboinicus (Lamiaceae) -were determined. Analysis by GC/MS and determination of Kovats indexes both indicated ´-elemene (leaves-42.61% and branches-23.41%) as well as ()-±-bisabolol (leaves-24.80% and stem bark-66.16%) as major constituents of E. erythropappus essential oils. The main components of leaves of P. barbatus were identified as (Z)-caryophyllene (17.98%), germacrene D (17.35%), and viridiflorol (14.13%); whereas those of leaves of P. amboinicus were characterized as p-cymene (12.01%), ³-terpinene (14.74%), carvacrol (37.70%), and (Z)-caryophyllene (14.07%). The antimicrobial activity against yeasts and bacteria was assessed in broth microdilution assays to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) necessary to inhibit microbial growth. In addition, the crude oil of branches of E. erythropappus was subjected to chromatographic separation procedures to afford purified ()-±-bisabolol. This compound displayed biological activity against pathogenic yeasts, thus suggesting that the antimicrobial effect observed with crude oils of E. erythropappus leaves and branches may be related to the occurrence of ()-±-bisabolol as their main component. Our results showed that crude oils of Brazilian plants, specifically E. erythropappus, P. barbatus, and P. amboinicus and its components, could be used as a tool for the developing novel and more efficacious antimicrobial agents. (AU)

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