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Antibacterial activities of essential oils and extracts of Turkish Achillea, Satureja and Thymus species against plant pathogenic bacteria



BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to examine the chemical composition of the essential oils and hexane extracts of the aerial parts of Satureja spicigera (C. Koch) Boiss., Thymus fallax Fisch. & CA Mey, Achillea biebersteinii Afan, and Achillea millefolium L. by GC and GC–MS, and to test antibacterial efficacy of essential oils and n-hexane, chloroform, acetone and methanol extracts as an antibacterial and seed disinfectant against 25 agricultural plant pathogens.

RESULTS: Thymol, carvacrol, p-cymene, thymol methyl ether and γ-terpinene were the main constituents of S. spicigera and T. fallax oils and hexane extracts. The main components of the oil of Achillea millefolium were 1,8-cineole, δ-cadinol and caryophyllene oxide, whereas the hexane extract of this species contained mainly n-hexacosane, n-tricosane and n-heneicosane. The oils and hexane extracts of S. spicigera and T. fallax exhibited potent antibacterial activity over a broad spectrum against 25 phytopathogenic bacterial strains. Carvacrol and thymol, the major constituents of S. spicigera and T. fallax oils, also showed potent antibacterial effect against the bacteria tested. The oils of Achillea species showed weak antibacterial activity. Our results also revealed that the essential oil of S. spicigera, thymol and carvacrol could be used as potential disinfection agents against seed-borne bacteria.

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that S. spicigera, T. fallax oils, carvacrol and thymol could become potentials for controlling certain important agricultural plant pathogenic bacteria and seed disinfectant. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry