Chemical composition and in vitro evaluation of antimicrobial and anti-acetylcholinesterase properties of the flower oil of Ferula lutea

Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Jul;7(7):947-50.


The present work describes the chemical composition and evaluates the antimicrobial and the anti-acetylcholinesterase properties of the flower oil from the Tunisian Ferula lutea obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by combination of GC/FID and GC/MS. The chemical composition of the flower oil of this species is reported for the first time. Seventeen compounds were identified accounting for 94.3% of the total oil. The chemical composition of this essential oil was characterized by a high proportion of monoterpene hydrocarbons (80.4%) among which delta-3-carene (31.2%) and alpha-pinene (25.8%) were the predominant compounds. The oxygenated monoterpenes represent the second major fraction (12.0%), 2,3,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde (10.9%) being the predominant one. Furthermore, the isolated oil was tested for its antimicrobial activity using the disc-diffusion and the microdilution assays against six Gram-positive and five Gram-negative bacteria as well as towards eight Candida species. It was found that flower oil of F. lutea exhibited interesting antibacterial and anticandidal activity (MIC = 39 mcirog/mL against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis and MIC = 156 microg/mL against Candida albicans). The anti-acetylcholinesterase effect of this oil was also evaluated in this work. Results showed that this oil exhibits significant activity (IC50 =70.25 +/- 5.41 microg/mL).

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacillus subtilis / drug effects
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Ferula / chemistry*
  • Flowers / chemistry*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Plant Oils
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • alpha-pinene