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aromatic plants are uninvestigated. The present study reports the chemical constituents of the leaf essential oils
of 6 Syzygium species, S. arnottianum Walp., S. caryophyllatum (L.) Alston, S. hemisphericum (Wight) Alston,
S. laetum (Buch. Ham.) Gandhi, S. lanceolatum (Lam.) Wight & Arn. and S. zeylanicum (L.) DC. var.
zeylanicum, collected from the Western Ghats of Kerala. Sesquiterpenoids were the
-caryophyllene and caryophyllene oxide were present in all the oils
except S. laetum. The open chain sesquiterpenoids (Z,E)-α-farnesene and (E)-nerolidol were characteristic of S.
laetum while phenyl propanoids were exclusively present in S. lanceolatum.
Keywords: Essential Oil; GC-MS; Syzygium arnottianum; Syzygium caryophyllatum; Syzygium hemisphericum;
1. Plant Source
Fresh leaves of the Syzygium species were collected from the forests of southern Western
Ghats, Kerala, India and voucher herbarium specimens (TBGT No.) of Syzygium arnottianum Walp.
(66407), Syzygium caryophyllatum (L.) Alston (50993), Syzygium hemisphericum (Wight) Alston
(50959), Syzygium laetum (Buch. Ham.) Gandhi (66409), Syzygium lanceolatum (Lam.) Wight &
Arn.(50992) and Syzygium zeylanicum (L.) DC. var. zeylanicum (50995) were deposited at the
JNTBGRI herbarium (TBGT). The plant materials were identified by Dr. T. G. Vinodkumar, St.
Thomas College, Ranni, Kerala.
2. Previous Studies
The genus Syzygium Gaertner (Family: Myrtaceae) is represented by nearly 1200 species in
the old world tropics and 45species are reported in the Western Ghats of India . Literature searches
showed that there are no previous studies on the volatile constituents of the six Syzygium species
* Corresponding author: E- Mail:
(K.B. Rameshkumar), Phone: +91-472-2869226
reported here, while a few species such as S. aromaticum [2,3], S. cumini [4,5,6], S. guineense , S.
Rameshkumar et.al., Rec. Nat. Prod. (2015) 9:4 592-596
chemical constituents. Though S. caryophyllatum (L.) Alston is different from S. aromaticum (L.)
of S. caryophyllatum (L.) Alston .
leaves (300g each) for 3 h. using a Clevenger type apparatus. The oils were dried over anhydrous
sodium sulphate and stored at 4
C until the analyses.
chromatograph fitted with CP Sil 8CB fused silica capillary column (30 m, 0.32 mm i.d., film
thickness 0.25 µm) with FID detector using nitrogen as a carrier gas at flow rate of 1mL/ min. The
split ratio was 1:40, and 0.1μL oil sample (1:5 dilution in diethyl ether) was injected. Oven
temperature programme: injector temperature 220
C, oven temperature 50-230
C at 3
detector temperature 250
C. Relative percentage of components was obtained from the peak area of
cross-linked 5% PH ME siloxane HP-5 MS capillary column (30 m x 0.32 mm, film thickness 0.25
µm) coupled with a 5973 series mass selective detector under the following conditions with splitless
injection of 1.0 µL of essential oil (1:10 dilution in diethyl ether), helium as the carrier gas at 1.4 mL/
min constant flow mode. The temperature programme for the analysis of the oils were, injector
C, oven temperature 60
C to 246
C/min) and interface temperature 290
) mode, 70 eV and ion source temperature 250
C. The essential oil
components were identified based on by MS library search (Wiley 2.75), relative retention indices
calculated with respect to homologous of n-alkanes (C
literature reference .
The leaf essential oil yield (%v/w) was higher for S. zeylanicum (0.33%), followed by S.
hemisphericum (0.17%), S. arnottianum (0.12%) and S. lanceolatum (0.10%), while the yield was
negligible for S. laetum (0.01%) and S. caryophyllatum (0.01%).The major volatile constituents
identified from the leaf essential oil of Syzygium species were caryophyllene oxide (15.4%) and selina-
-ol (13.0%) for S. arnottianum,
-caryophyllene (32.4%), 1-epi-cubenol (11.8%) and
cadinene (10.0%) for S. caryophyllatum,
-caryophyllene (40.5%) and
-humulene (39.7%) for S.
-caryophyllene (16.1%) and phenyl propanal (13.5%)for S.
-caryophyllene (11.1%), α-cadinol (12.2%), humulene epoxide II (17.6%)
-humulene (24.0%) for S. zeylanicum.
Sesquiterpenoids were the predominant
compounds in all the
Syzygium species studied (Table
1). Among the sesquiterpenoids, caryophyllene or its derivatives were detected in all the Syzygium
species. In S. hemisphericum, 84.4% of the volatile constituents were caryophyllene analogues,
followed by S. zeylanicum (71.6%), S. lanceolatum (54.2%), S. caryophyllatum (44.3%), S.
-Caryophyllene and caryophyllene oxide were present in
-Humulene was a predominant constituents in all the oils except S.
characteristic of S. laetum. Phenyl propanoids were exclusively present (14.4%) in S. lanceolatum and
phenyl propanal can be considered as the chemotaxonomic marker compound for S. lanceolatum.
Monoterpenoids were present in negligible amount only in S. hemisphericum(0.2%) and S. zeylanicum
Leaf essential oil chemistry of Syzygium species
Humulene epoxide II
RRI: Relative retention index calculated on HP-5 column, with respect to homologous of n-alkanes (C
Aldrich Chem. Co. Inc.).
S.arn- Syzygium arnottianum, S.car- Syzygium caryophyllatum, S.hem- Syzygium
hemisphericum, S.lat- Syzygium laetum, S.lan- Syzygium lanceolatum, S.zey- Syzygium zeylanicum
Though the genus Syzygium includes important spice plants and medicinal plants like S.
explored for their volatile constituents and bioactivities . Essential oils are important as source of
valuable aroma chemicals, flavoring components and bioactive agents and the volatile chemical
profiles of Syzygium species revealed sesquiterpenoids, particularly caryophyllene isomers and
oxygenated derivatives of caryophyllene as the characteristic constituents. Caryophyllene and their
derivatives are known for their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, and platelet-inhibitory
actions, while its oxide has proven to be cytotoxic [14,15]. The present study is the first report of the
leaf volatile constituents of six Syzygium species, of which two are endemic to the Western Ghats of
the southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India, Phytotaxa. 71, 10 16.
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