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An Acad Bras Cienc. 2011 Sep;83(3):787-99.

Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of Ocimum canum Sims. and Ocimum selloi Benth.

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Departamento de Química e Exatas, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, UESB, Jequié, BA, Brasil.


This work describes the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the volatile oils of Ocimum canum and Ocimum selloi, both occurring in Jequié/BA, northeastern Brazil. The plants were collected in the winter/2005 and summer/2006, the oils extracted by steam distillation and further analyzed by GC-MS. A total of 30 and 31 compounds was identified from the oils of O. selloi and O. canum, respectively. It was observed that the oil content of O. canum showed variation during the seasons, while the oils of O. selloi did not. Methylchavicol and linalool were the main chemical components found in the aerial parts and leaves of O. canum. This finding permitted to characterize this specimen as a new chemotype of O. canum. Regarding the aerial parts of O. selloi, eugenol, 1,8-cineole, transcaryophyllene and linalool were identified as their major components. All extracted oils from the aerial parts showed biological activity against gram-positive cocci – Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 – but only the O. canum one showed activity against gram-negative bacilli – Escherichia coli ATCC 25922.

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