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Abstract Detail

Phytochemical Section

Eisenman, Sasha [1], Juliani, H.R. [2], Simon, J.E. [3].

Essential oil diversity in North American populations of wild tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.).

Artemisia dracunculus L. (Asteraceae) is a polymorphic species with a distribution that spans western North America, Eastern Europe and most of temperate Asia. The species is best known for the variety, Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa Besser, or French tarragon, which is commonly used as a culinary herb. The primary distinctions between French tarragon and wild tarragon are differences in smell and flavor. The French variety is favored for its spicy, licorice-like flavor, which has been attributed to high concentrations (60-81%) of methyl chavicol (estragole). Wild tarragon is considered to have an inferior flavor to French tarragon and has a different essential oil profile, with sabinene, elemicin, trans-isoelemicine or trans-anethole as the major oil constituent and contains little or no methyl chavicol. Although rarely used in cooking, wild tarragon has a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Research on the essential oil from French and wild tarragon has verified a variety of biological activities including anti-thrombotic, anti-microbial, and tissue regenerating capabilities.
Many studies have investigated the essential oil composition of both French and wild tarragon, but nearly all studies of wild tarragon have used plant material originating from European or Asian populations. In order to assess the chemodiversity of North American populations, essential oil was extracted from 63 cultivated individuals, originating from 18 different wild populations, and was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. The samples exhibited a variety of profiles with different primary components including (Z)-β-ocimene, methyl eugenol, methyl chavicol and α-terpinolene. Additionally, many of the samples had significant concentrations of the unique polylacetylenes capillene, 5-phenyl-1,3-pentadiyne and 1-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-2,4-pentadiyne. The isocoumarinic acetylene, capillarin, was also found in the majority of samples but in low concentrations. These profiles represent a number of new chemotypes for North America. Additionally, a sample from Kyrgyzstan was found to have a completely unique profile with its main constituents being myrcene, (Z)-artemidin and limonene.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Rutgers University, Department Plant Biology & Pathology, 237 Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901, USA
2 - Rutgers University, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology, Room 391D Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA
3 - Rutgers University, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology , 396C Foran Hall, 59 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA

Artemisia dracunculus
chemical diversity
Essential Oil.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPT005
Abstract ID:658

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