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Denys J. Charles and James E. Simon

Essential oils were extracted from leaves, flowers, and stems of Ocimum basilicurn, O. kilimandscharicum, and O. micranthum by solvent extraction, hydrodistillation, and steam distillation for essential oil content and the oil analyzed by GC and GC/MS for composition. While the yield of essential oil was consistently higher from steam distillation than hydrodistillation, a similar number of compounds was recovered from both hydrodistillation and steam distillation. Though the relative concentration of the major constituents was similar by both methods, the absolute amounts were higher with steam distillation. Essential oil content and composition varied by plant species and plant part. Essential oil content was highest in flowers for O. basilicum and in leaves for O. micranthum. No significant differences were observed in essential oil yield and relative concentration of major constituents using fresh or dry samples and using samples from 75 g to 10 g of dry plant tissue. While minor differences between hydrodistillation and steam distillation were observed, both methods resulted in high yields and good recovery of essential oil constituents. Hydrodistillation is a more-rapid and simpler technique than steam and permits the extraction of essential oil where steam is not accessible.

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Wang Wenzhong

The essential oil constituent of Rosemary harvested in different times and grown in different introduction regions were analyzed with GC method and compared in this study. The composition of the essential oil in different harvest times were almost similar, the content of main constituents fluctuated regularly. Compared with main production countries of Rosemary, the composition of the essential oil in different introduction regions of our country have characteristics of their own, with high content of &-Pirene in Beijing, rich in Comphor and relatively high in Bonneol and Bonaryl acetate in Nanjing and with equally abundant &-Pirene and 1, 8-cineole in Kunming.

Roemarol, Cornosal and Rosmadial are separated from Residues of disfitled shoot and leaves of Rosemary, and are identified with MS and'H-NMR.

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Linda M. Falzari, Robert C. Menary and Valerie A. Dragar

1 To whom reprint requests should be addressed; e-mail . We gratefully acknowledge the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation, Essential Oils of Tasmania Pty Ltd and Natural Plant Extracts Cooperative

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Liangli Yu, Mario Morales and James E. Simon

Hydro-distilled essential oils from fresh and dry leaves and fresh and dry flowers of `Sweet Dani', a new ornamental lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum) cultivar with potential as a source of natural citral, were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. The essential oil contents were 0.18%, 0.19%, 0.30%, 0.28% w/w on a fresh weight basis of fresh and dry leaves, and fresh and dry flowers, respectively. Oils from leaves and flowers differed significantly in content and composition. The major constituents in dry leaf oil were neral 21.8% and geranial 33.5%. The major constituents in dry flower oil included: nerol 11.5%, neral 12.9%, geraniol 7.6%, and geranial 17.7%. Nerol (1.6%), and geraniol (0.4%) were very low in dry leaf oil. As citral is a combination of neral and geranial, the relative leaf and flower citral content is 55.3% and 30.6% of the total oil, respectively. Linalool and octanol were detected in flower oils only.

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Shahrokh Khanizadeh and Andre Bédanger

Leaves of three strawberry cultivars (Bounty', `Honeoye', and `Kent') were collected at random from plants growing in an experimental trial at the Agriculture Canada, Research Station farm at Lavaltrie, Quebec. Steam-distillation was carried out on 300g of leaves in 3L of distilled water in a 5L flask. The essential oils were analyscd with a Varian 6000 gas chromatogmph. Thirty-seven compounds were detected of which sixteen were identified. The major components were linalool and nonanal. Many of the other constituents were aliphatic in nature. Differences in oil composition among the three cultivars were observed. Essential oil composition might therefore be used as a selection criteria for insect or disease resistance. Their effect upon mites will be assayed in future studies by testing them as sex, food, or oviposition lures.

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Kelly M. Bowes and Valtcho D. Zheljazkov

Field and laboratory experiments were conducted during the summers of 2001 and 2002 in two locations in Nova Scotia to identify the effect of cultivar, transplanting date, and drying (air-drying and freeze-drying) on basil (Ocimum basilicum `Mesten' and `Italian Broadleaf', and O. sanctum `Local') productivity and oil quality in Nova Scotia and to identify the potential of growing basil as a cash crop in this region. Results suggested that all of the tested cultivars of basil grown in Nova Scotia had acceptable yields and composition for the international commercial market. Greater yields (ranging from 3.6 to 19.8 t·ha-1) were achieved from `Mesten' and `Italian Broadleaf' by earlier transplanting. `Local' had a lower oil content compared to the other cultivars. Linalool was the main component of `Mesten' oil, linalool and methyl chavicol were the main components of `Italian Broadleaf' oil, while elemene and α-humulene were the main components of `Local' oil. Both air-drying and freeze-drying were found to alter the composition of the essential oil from O. sanctum and O. basilicum.

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Mohammed Sarwar and Saleh A. Al-Namlah

Saudi Arabia is known for arid character and its total unsuitability for any agricultural exploitation. However; it is- now proving otherwise with the application of modern agrotechnology resulting in large scale production of many crops successfully. Considering the international growing demand of essential oils, need of agrocommunities for new crops, advantages of local warm climate and availability of generous government funding system, essential oil production offers immense potential in Saudi Arabia. This paper intends to describe the prospects of raising Pelargonium graveolens, Mentha arvensis, Artemesia pallens, Cymbopogon winterianus, Cymbopogon flexuosus, Ocimum basilicum, Eucalyptus citriodora, Rosemarinus officinalis, Coriandrum sativum, Anethum graveolens, Jasminum grandiflorum and Pogostemon patchouli successfully at various ecosystems and to establish new agroindustries based on essential oils around the Kingdom.

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Ben H. Alkire and James E. Simon

A 500 liter (130 gallon) stainless steel steam distillation unit has been built to extract volatile essential oils from aromatic plants. A 1.5 m × 0.75 m dia. steam vessel (hydrostatically tested @ 125 psi) serves as the distillation tank. Low pressure or high pressure steam is supplied by a diesel fuel fired boiler of 10 horsepower. The steam vessel can hold peppermint from plots of 25 m2 and extract approximately 100 ml of essential oil per distillation. The size of the tub was designed to provide oil in sufficient quantity for industrial evacuation or for pesticide residue analysis. Following the distillation, the vessel can be disconnected from the cold-water condenser and rotated on swivels to a horizontal position, permitting easy removal and re-filling of plant material. The entire extraction unit (vessel, condenser, boiler and oil collector) is suitable for mounting upon a trader, making it transportable to commercial farms or research stations. The extraction of peppermint and spearmint oils using this new system will be presented.

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Thomas H. Boyle, Lyle E. Craker and James E. Simon

Plants of rosemary [Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Lamiaceae)] were grown in pots containing a soilless (1 sphagnum peat:1 perlite) or soil-based (1 sphagnum peat: 1 perlite:1 field soil) growing medium and fertilized with either 12N-5.2P-12.5K controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) at 9.0 g/pot; constant liquid fertilization (LF) with 20N4.3P-16.7K at 150 mg N/liter; constant LF at 150 mg N/liter, plus CRF at 4.5 g/pot; weekly LF at 150 mg N/liter; or weekly LF at 150 mg N/liter, plus CRF at 4.5 g/pot. Constant LF plus CRF generally reduced plant height and depressed shoot fresh weight relative to other fertilizer regimes. Essential oil content was highest in plants receiving weekly LF. Plants grown in the soil-based mix were shorter, shoot fresh and dry weight tended to be lower, and essential oil yield was higher when compared to plants grown in the soilless mix. Satisfactory growth was obtained in both media when rosemary plants were fertilized with 12N-5.2P-12.5K CRF at 9.0 g/pot or weekly LF with 20N<.3P-16.7K at 150 mg N/liter.

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Giuliana Mulas and Lyle E. Craker

Variation in light quality is known to modify plant morphology, growth, and chemical constituency in plants. In the present study, the effect of light quality on growth and essential oil composition in rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) was investigated by comparing plants receiving supplemental red (660 nm) and far-red (730 nm) with each other and with control plants not receiving supplemental light. Except for the supplemental light treatments, all plants were grown under natural light conditions in a greenhouse and received full daylight, averaging 9.23 h/day during the study. The red and far-red light treatments, given as day extensions, started daily 15 min before sunset and continued for 4 h each evening for 4 weeks. No significant differences were observed in biomass yield from the different light treatments, but far-red light caused elongation of internodes and a reduction in the number of leaves in comparison with control and red-light treated plants. Essential oil production was highest in plants grown under far-red light treatments.