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Phytochemical analysis of Origanum majorana leaf extract and its effect on flax seedling growth

Fatma El-Shintinawy, Soad Elfiky, Mai A. El-Esawy, Shimaa Abo-Hamad.


This study was conducted to examine the phytochemical components of Origanum majorana leaf extract by chemical methods and by GC-MS spectroscopy and to test the impact of these components on flax seedling growth. Biochemical analysis of Origanum majorana leaf extracts in both acetone and methanol showed the presence of the four tested components: coumarins, steroids, flavonoids and tannins. In addition, methanol extract exhibited about 92% inhibition of DPPH reaction indicating a high level of antioxidant activity. The bioactive constituents were detected by GC-MS spectroscopy for their retention time, molecular formula and peak area %. The data of GC-MS revealed the presence of 30 components. The major components detected in ethanol leaf extract of Origanum majorana were: ç-sitosterol (12.93%), octadeca-9,12,15-trienoic acid (8.65%), hexadecanoic acid (6.64%), neophytadiene (6.47%), ursolic acid (5.48%), phthalic acid, di (2-propylpentyl) ester (5.06%), 1-phenanthrenemethanol, 1,2,3,4,4a,9,10,10a-octahydro-1,4a-dimethyl-7-(1-methylethyl)-, [1S-(1à,4aà,10aá)]- (4.69%), tetracosane, 11-decyl- (3.85%), 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-ol (3.75%), dl-à-tocopherol (3.46%) and squalene (2.95%). The presoaking of flax seeds in aqueous leaf extract of Origanum majorana for 12 hours before sowing induced significant increases in all the measured growth parameters of 17-day old seedlings compared to control (water presoaking). Germination percentage was increased by 33%, shoot length by 16%, root length by 27%, shoot fresh weight by 7%, root fresh weight by 3%, shoot dry weight by 40% and root dry weight by 100%. Thus, leaf extract of Origanum majorana could be recommended as a phyto-promotor of flax seedling growth.

Key words: Origanum majorana; flax; phyto-promotor; GC-MS spectroscopy

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