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10870009-3130/13/4806-1087 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Vol. 48, No. 6, January, 2013 [Russian original No. 6, November–December, 2012]
COMPOSITION OF THE ESSENTIAL OIL OF Carex pseudofoetida
A. Feizbakhsh,1* A. Aghassi,1,2 and A. Naeemy1 UDC 547.913
The genus Carex L. (Cyperaceae), with at least 2000 species, represents one of the most common vascular plant
groups in the world . They occur in very different habitat conditions, both in wet and moist locations such as peat bogs, fens,
meadows, and pasture communities, as well as their peripheries. They also exist in dry and extremely dry habitats, which
include, among others, xerothermic and psammophilous grasslands .
Plants of the Carex genus are characterized by the production of stilbene derivatives . Also they include flavonoids
, phenolic acids , essential oils and saponins , and fatty acids [1, 7]. In this paper, we report the constituents identified
from the essential oil of Carex pseudofoetida Kuk. ex Ostenf., which is one of several types of Carex that grows wild in the
north-facing Alborz Mountain Range in Iran .
The aerial parts of the C. pseudofoetida species were collected at Kandavan, Alborz Mountain Range, Iran, in May
2007. The aerial parts of the plant after grinding were submitted to hydrodistillation. The yield of the oil was 1.5% based on
dry plant weight. The essential oil analyses were performed simultaneously by gas chromatography (GC) and gas
chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). GC analysis was performed with an HP6890 chromatograph equipped with a
flame ionization detector (capillary column, HP-5MS (5% phenylmethylsiloxane) (30 m u 0.25 mm, film thickness 0.25 Pm).
Injector and detector temperature were set at 240qC and 220qC, respectively. The GC-MS unit consisted of a Hewlett-Packard
computerized system comprising a 6890 gas chromatograph coupled to a 5973 mass spectrometer. Identification of essential
oil components was achieved by peak matching as well as by comparisons of retention times with authentic samples .
The composition of the oil of C. pseudofoetida is given in Table 1. Twenty-nine components were identified in the oil
of C. pseudofoetida, which represented 98% of the total composition of the oil. Cyperene (31.5%) was the dominant constituent.
1) Department of Chemistry, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch (IAUCTB), P. O. Box 14676-86831,
Tehran, Iran, fax: +98 (261) 340 92 67, e-mail: email@example.com; 2) Department of Chemistry, K.N. Toosi University
of Technology, P. O. Box 15875-4416, Tehran, Iran. Published in Khimiya Prirodnykh Soedinenii, No. 6, November–December,
2012, pp. 958–959. Original article submitted August 23, 2011.
TABLE 1. Percentage Composition of the Oil of Carex pseudofoetida
Composition RIa RIb % Composition RIa RIb %
aRI: calculated retention index relative to C9–C23 n-alkanes on HP-5MS column, bRI [12–18] literature retention indices.
The second major compound was cyperotundone (13.5%). The oil had a significant amount of
(4.8%), cyperol (4.9%), and isorotundene (4.8%). As can be seen, in C. pseudofoetida, sesquiterpene hydrocarbon (46.8%)
and oxygenated sesquiterpene (41.6%) were in abundance. The monoterpene fraction of the oil was relatively small, representing
(9.6%) of the total oil.
Previous works on the chemical composition of the essential oil of genus Carex have been published. Zoghbi et al.
 reported the volatile constituents of Carex esquirolii H. Lev. et Vaniot (Syn.: Kyllinga brevifolia Rottb., Cyperus brevifolius
(Rottb.) Endl. ex Hassk), which were characterized by a high amount of oxygenated diterpenes, including manoyl oxide,
13-epi-manoyl oxide, 11
-hydroxymanoyl oxide, and 1
-hydroxymanoyl oxide. They showed that the essential oils had
significant differences depending on the part of plant, geographical region and the extraction method. These data are in sharp
contrast with our results as these components were completely absent in our sample. In addition, Komai and Tang  investigated
the chemical composition of Hawaiian Carex esquirolii. There are large quantitative and qualitative differences between
compounds reported by these authors and our results, except for the presence of cyperene,
-cadinene. The main volatiles at the species level were C17 to C25 n-paraffins.
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