Monoterpenoid Accumulation in 1,8-cineole, Terpinolene and terpinen-4-ol Chemotypes of Melaleuca Alternifolia Seedlings

Phytochemistry. 2003 Mar;62(5):683-9. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9422(02)00607-6.


Individual leaves of the three most common chemotypes of Melaleuca alternifolia were examined both quantitatively and qualitatively for volatile constituents from the emergence of the first true leaves, through to 6-week-old tenth leaf set material. The 1,8-cineole and terpinolene chemotypes were investigated and compared with the recently reported commercial terpinen-4-ol chemotype. The 1,8-cineole chemotype was found to accumulate 1,8-cineole and associated p-menthanes limonene, terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol gradually with increasing leaf set number. As with the terpinen-4-ol variety, higher than expected concentrations of the pinenes and terpinolene were found only in the early leaf sets. The terpinolene variety showed two stages of terpinolene accumulation, the first at leaf sets 2-3 similar to the unexpected biosynthesis of terpinolene in the terpinen-4-ol chemotype and the second at leaf sets 8-9 which is characteristic of the terpinolene variety.

MeSH terms

  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
  • Cyclohexanols / chemistry
  • Cyclohexanols / isolation & purification
  • Cyclohexanols / metabolism
  • Eucalyptol
  • Melaleuca / chemistry
  • Melaleuca / metabolism*
  • Monoterpenes / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Seedlings / chemistry
  • Seedlings / metabolism
  • Tea Tree Oil / chemistry
  • Tea Tree Oil / metabolism*
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / isolation & purification
  • Terpenes / metabolism*


  • Cyclohexane Monoterpenes
  • Cyclohexanols
  • Monoterpenes
  • Terpenes
  • terpinenol-4
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • terpinolene
  • Eucalyptol