Wild Sicilian Rosemary: Phytochemical and Morphological Screening and Antioxidant Activity Evaluation of Extracts and Essential Oils

Raffaele Leone, Salvatore La Bella, Giuseppe Virga, Teresa Tuttolomondo, Mario Licata, Claudio Leto, Claudio Leto, Edoardo M. Napoli, Antonella Saija, Antonio Speciale, Laura Siracusa, Laura Rubino, Domenico Trombetta, Giuseppe Ruberto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


To identify the best biotypes, an extensive survey of Sicilian wild rosemary was carried out bycollecting 57 samples from various sites, followed by taxonomic characterization from an agronomicperspective. All the biotypes collected were classified as Rosmarinus officinalis L. A cluster analysisbased on the morphological characteristics of the plants allowed the division of the biotypes into sevenmain groups, although the characteristics examined were found to be highly similar and not areadependent.Moreover, all samples were analyzed for their phytochemical content, applying an extractionprotocol to obtain the nonvolatile components and hydrodistillation to collect the essential oils for thevolatile components. The extracts were characterized by LC-UV-DAD/ESI-MS, and the essential oils byGC-FID and GC/MS analyses. In the nonvolatile fractions, 18 components were identified, namely, 13flavones, two organic acids, and three diterpenes. In the volatile fractions, a total of 82 components werefound, with as predominant components a-pinene and camphene among the monoterpene hydrocarbonsand 1,8-cineole, camphor, borneol, and verbenone among the oxygenated monoterpenes. Clusteranalyses were carried out on both phytochemical profiles, allowing the separation of the rosemarysamples into different chemical groups. Finally, the total phenol content and the antioxidant activity ofthe essential oils and extracts were determined with the Folin–Ciocalteu (FC) colorimetric assay, the UVradiation-induced peroxidation in liposomal membranes (UV-IP test), and the scavenging activity of thesuperoxide radical (O2 ). The present study confirmed that the essential oils and organic extracts of theSicilian rosemary samples analyzed showed a considerable antioxidant/free radical-scavenging activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1093
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology

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