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Medicines 2016, 3(1), 1; doi:10.3390/medicines3010001

Characterization and Antimicrobial Activity of Volatile Constituents from Fresh Fruits of Alchornea cordifolia and Canthium subcordatum

Department of Chemistry, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State 520101, Nigeria
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA
Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan 200284, Nigeria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lutfun Nahar, Norazah Basar and Satyajit D. Sarker
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 16 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Essential Oils: Chemistry and Bioactivity)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [228 KB, uploaded 29 December 2015]


Bacterial resistance has been increasingly reported worldwide and is one of the major causes of failure in the treatment of infectious diseases. Natural-based products, including plant secondary metabolites (phytochemicals), can be exploited to ameliorate the problem of microbial resistance. The fruit essential oils of Alchornea cordifolia and Canthium subcordatum were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The essential oils were subjected to in vitro antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activity screening. Thirty-eight compounds comprising 97.7% of A. cordifolia oil and forty-six constituents representing 98.2% of C. subcordatum oil were identified. The major components in A. cordifolia oil were methyl salicylate (25.3%), citronellol (21.4%), α-phellandrene (7.4%), terpinolene (5.7%) and 1,8-cineole (5.5%). Benzaldehyde (28.0%), β-caryophyllene (15.5%), (E,E)-α-farnesene (5.3%) and methyl salicylate (4.5%) were the quantitatively significant constituents in C. subcordatum fruit essential oil. A. cordifolia essential oil demonstrated potent in vitro antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 78 μg/mL) and marginal antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger (MIC = 156 μg/mL). C. subcordatum showed antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus and S. aureus (MIC = 156 μg/mL) and notable antifungal activity against A. niger (MIC = 39 μg/mL). However, no appreciable cytotoxic effects on human breast carcinoma cells (Hs 578T) and human prostate carcinoma cells (PC-3) were observed for either essential oil. The antimicrobial activities of A. cordifolia and C. subcordatum fruit essential oils are a function of their distinct chemical profiles; their volatiles and biological activities are reported for the first time. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alchornea cordifolia; Canthium subcordatum; essential oil composition; antibacterial; antifungal Alchornea cordifolia; Canthium subcordatum; essential oil composition; antibacterial; antifungal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Essien, E.E.; Newby, J.S.; Walker, T.M.; Setzer, W.N.; Ekundayo, O. Characterization and Antimicrobial Activity of Volatile Constituents from Fresh Fruits of Alchornea cordifolia and Canthium subcordatum. Medicines 2016, 3, 1.

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