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Molecules 2018, 23(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020294

Biodiversity within Melissa officinalis: Variability of Bioactive Compounds in a Cultivated Collection

1
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinaerplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
2
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Research (IPK), Corrensstraße 3, Seeland, OT 06466 Gatersleben, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
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Abstract

Phytochemical characters were evaluated in a five-year-old lemon balm collection consisting of 15 and 13 subspecies officinalis and altissima accessions, respectively. Stems were lower in essential oil than leaves. First cut leaves (June) gave more oil than those of the second cut (August). Subspecies officinalis plants had leaf oils rich in geranial, neral and citronellal in various proportions in the first cut. However, in the second cut the oils from all accessions appeared very similar with 80–90% geranial plus neral. Leaf oils of subsp. altissima contained sesquiterpenes (β-caryophyllene, caryophyllene oxide, germacrene D) and also further monoterpenes in the second cut. Leaves had higher rosmarinic acid (RA) contents than stems. More RA was in subsp. officinalis than subsp. altissima leaves. First cut leaves were richer in RA than those from second cut. Total phenolics and antioxidant parameters showed that lemon balm is a valuable source of plant antioxidants. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lamiaceae; Melissa officinalis; lemon balm; essential oil; polyphenols; rosmarinic acid Lamiaceae; Melissa officinalis; lemon balm; essential oil; polyphenols; rosmarinic acid
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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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Chizzola, R.; Lohwasser, U.; Franz, C. Biodiversity within Melissa officinalis: Variability of Bioactive Compounds in a Cultivated Collection. Molecules 2018, 23, 294.

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