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Horticultura Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0102-0536


SANTOS, Martiely S et al. Harvest time and plant age on the content and chemical composition of the essential oil of Alpinia zerumbet. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.3, pp.385-390. ISSN 0102-0536.

Alpinia zerumbet is an aromatic and medicinal plant rich in essential oil, known as colônia. Essential oils are derived from secondary metabolism and may be a source of raw materials for cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food and perfumery industry. The plant secondary metabolism and biosynthetic activity can vary according to endogenous and exogenous factors to which it is exposed. In this context, in this study we evaluated the influence of harvest time and plant age of Alpinia zerumbet on biomass and essential oil production. For the harvest time experiment the plants of A. zerumbet were harvested at different times (8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 h), using a completely randomized design with four replications. In the plant age experiment the seedlings were propagated by division of rhizomes and grown in a completely randomized design with treatments consisting of four ages (3, 6, 9 and 12 months after transplanting), with seven replications. The extractions of the essential oil were performed by oil hydrodistillation in Clevenger apparatus and chemical analysis by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (CG-MS). There was an effect of harvest time on the essential oil content with the highest value (0.48%) found at 14:33 h with no change in the chemical composition. In relation to plant age, there was a significant increase in aboveground biomass of plants, accompanied by increases in height, number of shoots, and essential oil content and yield. The major compound terpinen-4-ol was present in higher concentrations in plants harvested between six and nine months old.

Keywords : Zingiberaceae; 'colônia'; medicinal plant; GC analysis; terpinen-4-ol.

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