Fresh rhizomes of Zingiber officinale (ginger), when subjected to steam distillation, yielded ginger oil in which curcumene was found to be the major constituent. The thermally labile zingiberene-rich fraction was obtained from its diethyl ether extract. Column chromatography of ginger oleoresin furnished a fraction from which -gingerol was obtained by preparative TLC. Naturally occurring -dehydroshogaol was synthesised following condensation of dehydrozingerone with hexanal, whereas zingerone and 3-hydroxy-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)butane were obtained by hydrogenation of dehydrozingerone with 10% Pd/C. The structures of the compounds were established by 1H NMR, 13C NMR and mass (EI-MS and ES-MS) spectral analysis. The test compounds exhibited moderate insect growth regulatory (IGR) and antifeedant activity against Spilosoma obliqua, and significant antifungal activity against Rhizoctonia solani. Among the various compounds, -dehydroshogaol exhibited maximum IGR activity (EC50 3.55 mg ml −1) while dehydrozingerone imparted maximum antifungal activity (EC50 86.49 mg litre−1).
© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry