Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society
On-line version ISSN 1678-4790
LYRA, Cynthia C. G. V. et al. Infraspecific variability in the essential oil composition of Lychnophora ericoides. J. Braz. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2008, vol.19, n.5, pp. 842-848. ISSN 1678-4790. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-50532008000500006.
Variations in the composition of the leaf essential oils of wild Lychnophora ericoides, with and without scent, which were grown in three sampling sites, were examined by GC-MS. Results were submitted to principal component and cluster analysis which allowed for two groups of essential oils to be distinguished with regard to scent: cluster I with specimens exhibiting an aromatic scent and containing a high percentage of α-bisabolol (34 ± 23%) and o-cymene (8.4 ± 6.9%); cluster II with specimens without any scent and characterised by a high percentage of caryophyllene oxide (11 ± 9%) and δ-elemene (5.7 ± 6.9%). The two types of oil coexist in all the populations under study, although patterns of aromatic samples deriving from Caldas Novas' State Park reveal chemical differences in relation to the samples from Brasília's National Park and Santo Antônio do Descoberto. Such chemical variations clearly suggest, apart from a geographical influence, genetic differences between individuals in the populations. The high content of α-bisabolol supports the folk medicinal use of arnica as anti-inflammatory.
Keywords : Lychnophora ericoides; Asteraceae; essential oils; chemical variability.