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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Essential oil yield and quality of methyl eugenol rich Ocimum tenuiflorum L.f. (syn. O. sanctum L.) grown in south India as influenced by method of harvest.

A field experiment carried out during 2001--2002 under semi-arid conditions of Hyderabad, India investigated the effect of three different methods of harvesting at full bloom stage, on essential oil yield and quality of methyl eugenol rich sacred/holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum L.f.; Lamiaceae). The harvest methods were: harvesting of primary branches, secondary branches and shoot biomass cut at 30 cm above ground level. Four harvests at 102, 192, 287 and 360 days after transplanting of the crop were taken in 1 year in each method of harvest. Harvesting of secondary branches led to maximum plant height and number of secondary branches per plant compared to harvesting of primary branches or shoot biomass cut at 30 cm above ground during second, third and fourth harvests. On the contrary, secondary branch harvest gave least biomass yield in all the four harvests. But due to higher essential oil content, secondary branch harvest gave 25.2 and 15.4% higher total (sum total of all four harvests) essential oil yield (kg/ha per year) over primary branches and shoot biomass cut at 30 cm above ground methods of harvesting, respectively. A similar treatment difference was observed in respect of oil composition studied in the first harvest. Harvesting shoot biomass at 30 cm above ground produced oil containing highest amount of methyl eugenol. The content of methyl eugenol decreased in the order of shoot biomass cut at 30 cm above ground > primary branch > secondary branch treatments. A reverse trend was observed, however, in respect of (E)-cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and beta-elemene constituents of the oil. Little variability was, however, observed among the treatments in respect of 24 other constituents of the oils.[1]


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