Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Chem Ecol. 2010 Jun;36(6):652-61. doi: 10.1007/s10886-010-9798-y. Epub 2010 May 29.

A biochemical interpretation of terpene chemotypes in Melaleuca alternifolia.

Author information

  • 1Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia.


The variation of foliar monoterpenes in the Australian Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been of significant interest both to the essential oil industry as well as to ecologists. The majority of studies on leaf chemistry have been aimed directly towards obtaining oil of higher quality or quantity. In the current study, we aimed to understand how molecular mechanisms contribute to the chemical variability of this species, based on chemical analysis of the leaf oils from a biochemical perspective. Correlations between monoterpenes across the species as well as within chemotypes show strong, persistent patterns, which enable us to establish groups based on possible common biosynthetic origins. We found that three distinct enzymes corresponding to these groups: a sabinene-hydrate synthase, a 1,8-cineole synthase, and a terpinolene synthase may be sufficient to explain all six chemotypes in M. alternifolia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk