Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal properties of essential oil isolated from Turkish Origanum acutidens and its three components, carvacrol, thymol and p-cymene

Bioresour Technol. 2008 Dec;99(18):8788-95. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.04.048. Epub 2008 May 29.


The chemical composition of essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts of Origanum acutidens was analyzed by GC-MS. Carvacrol (87.0%), p-cymene (2.0%), linalool acetate (1.7%), borneol (1.6%) and beta-caryophyllene (1.3%) were found to be as main constituents. Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal activities of the oil and its aromatic monoterpene constituents, carvacrol, p-cymene and thymol were also determined. The antifungal assays showed that O. acutidens oil, carvacrol and thymol completely inhibited mycelial growth of 17 phytopathogenic fungi and their antifungal effects were higher than commercial fungicide, benomyl. However, p-cymene possessed lower antifungal activity. The oil, carvacrol and thymol completely inhibited the seed germination and seedling growth of Amaranthus retroflexus, Chenopodium album and Rumex crispus and also showed a potent phytotoxic effect against these plants. However, p-cymene did not show any phytotoxic effect. Furthermore, O. acutidens oil showed 68.3% and 36.7% mortality against Sitophilus granarius and Tribolium confusum adults, respectively. The findings of the present study suggest that antifungal and herbicidal properties of the oil can be attributed to its major component, carvacrol, and these agents have a potential to be used as fungicide, herbicide as well as insecticide.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cymenes
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Germination / drug effects
  • Herbicides / pharmacology
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Origanum / chemistry*
  • Plants / drug effects
  • Seedlings / drug effects
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Seeds / drug effects
  • Thymol / pharmacology*
  • Tribolium / drug effects
  • Turkey


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Cymenes
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • 4-cymene
  • Thymol
  • carvacrol