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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Dual extraction of essential oil and podophyllotoxin from creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

Authors
item Cantrell, Charles
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho -
item Carvalho, Camila -
item Astatkie, Tess -
item Jeliazkova, Ekaterina -
item Rosa, Luiz -

Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 21, 2014
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Citation: Cantrell, C.L., Zheljazkov, V.D., Carvalho, C.R., Astatkie, T., Jeliazkova, E.A., Rosa, L. 2014. Dual extraction of essential oil and podophyllotoxin from creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis). PLoS One. 9(9):e106057.

Interpretive Summary: Juniperus horizontalis Moench (Family Cupressaceae), commonly called creeping juniper, is a widely distributed species in the United States and much of Canada. It is potentially a source for two important chemical products, the anticancer drug synthetic precursor, podophyllotoxin and essential oils. The objectives of this study were to ascertain the likelihood of utilizing J. horizontalis needles for the simultaneous production of both (-)-podophyllotoxin and essential oil components and to determine the optimum distillation time (DT) needed for the production of essential oil containing a specific ratio of constituents. Eleven different distillation times were tested in this study as follows: 20, 40, 80, 160, 180, 240, 480, 600, 720, 840, and 960 min. As a result of this study, specific essential oil components can now be targeted in J. horizontalis by varying the distillation time or an optimum essential oil composition can be generated. Furthermore, needles can be successfully utilized as a source of essential oil and podophyllotoxin consecutively.

Technical Abstract: Juniperus horizontalis Moench (Family Cupressaceae), commonly called creeping juniper, is a widely distributed species in the United States and much of Canada. It is potentially a source for two important chemical products, the anticancer drug synthetic precursor, podophyllotoxin and essential oils. The objectives of this study were to ascertain the likelihood of utilizing J. horizontalis needles for the simultaneous production of both (-)-podophyllotoxin and essential oil components and to determine the optimum distillation time (DT) needed for the production of essential oil containing a specific ratio of constituents. Eleven different distillation times were tested in this study as follows: 20, 40, 80, 160, 180, 240, 480, 600, 720, 840, and 960 min. Total essential oil content increased with increasing distillation time from a minimum of 0.021 % at 20 min to a maximum of 1.098 % at 960 min. The major constituents present in the oil were alph-pinene, sabinene, and limonene. The percent concentration of sabinene in the essential oil varied from a high of 46.6 % at 80 min to a low of 30.2 % at 960 min, that of limonene changed very little as a result of distillation time and remained near 30 % for all distillation times, whereas the concentration of alpha-pinene was 9.6% at 20 min DT and decreased to 4.2% at 960 min. We found that the total essential oil content of J. horizontalis was over 1%, which is around 3 times higher than reported previously. J. horizontalis biomass must be steam distilled for at least 840 min in order to obtain the total amount of the essential oil. Therefore, the duration of DT must be reported when reporting essential oil content and composition of J. horizontalis. Post distillation analysis of needles revealed elevated amounts of (-)-podophyllotoxin remaining in the tissue varied in the amount of podophyllotoxin present, from a low of 0.281 % to a high of 0.364 % as compared to unextracted needles which gave 0.217 % podophyllotoxin. As a result of this study, specific essential oil components can now be targeted in J. horizontalis by varying the distillation time or an optimum essential oil composition can be generated. Furthermore, needles can be successfully utilized as a source of essential oil and podophyllotoxin consecutively.

Last Modified: 11/21/2014
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