FOLIA POMERANAE UNIVERSITATIS TECHNOLOGIAE STETINENSIS
Folia Pomer. Univ. Technol. Stetin., Agric., Aliment., Pisc., Zootech. 2016, 328(39)3, 7–22
Dominika ANDRYS, Danuta KULPA
LAVANDULA SPP. ESSENTIAL OILS – ITS USE, COMPOSITION AND GENETIC
BASIS OF PRODUCTION
OLEJKI ETERYCZNE LAWENDY – ICH WYKORZYSTANIE ORAZ PODŁOŻE
Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, West Pomeranian University
of Technology, Szczecin, Poland
Streszczenie. Lawenda wykorzystywana jest głównie w medycynie, kosmetyce, aromaterapii,
perfumiarstwie, a także jako przyprawa kulinarna. Niewątpliwe najczęściej uprawia się ją dla
pozyskania olejków eterycznych, mających przyjemny zapach, a także bardzo dobre
właściwości przeciwbakteryjne, przeciwgrzybiczne oraz antyoksydacyjne. Publikacja stanowi
przegląd informacji dotyczących olejków eterycznych pozyskiwanych z tkanek roślin należących
do rodzaju Lavandula, metod ich ekstrakcji oraz składu chemicznego, a także możliwości ich
zastosowań. Skład chemiczny olejku roślinnego zależy od wielu parametrów, takich jak:
uwarunkowania środowiskowe, okres wegetacyjny, w którym roślina została zebrana, sposób
suszenia i przechowywania do czasu zasadniczej ekstrakcji olejku, sposób izolowania olejku,
a także warunki prowadzenia analiz (kolumna, zaprogramowana temperatura), które są
stosowane do identyfikacji związków.
Key words: Lamiaceae, secondary metabolites, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties,
Słowa kluczowe: Lamiaceae, metabolity wtórne, właściwości antymikrobiologiczne i antyoksydacyjne,
zastosowanie w przemyśle.
The plants of the genus Lavandula spp. are native to the Mediterranean region (Miller
1985; Basch et al. 2004), the Arabian Peninsula, the Canary Islands and India (Upson and
Andrews 2004). This plant naturally occurs in southern Europe and northern Africa.
Indigenous species of this plant occur in northern, eastern and southern Africa, Bulgaria and
Russia (Staicov et al. 1969).
The narrow-leaved lavender is one of the most useful aromatic-herbal plants used for
medicinal purposes. The plant is particularly valued for its essential oils (Boelens 1995;
Nobre 1996). The oils is a mixture of natural volatile compounds characterized by a strong
fragrance and it is classified as plant secondary metabolite (Bakkali et al. 2008). The oils are
Corresponding author – Adres do korespondencji: Danuta Kulpa, Department of Genetics, Plant Breeding
and Biotechnology, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Juliusza Słowackiego 17,
71-434 Szczecin, Poland, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
8 D. Andrys and D. Kulpa
extracted from plant material (flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, braches, bark, herbs, wood, fruit
and roots) by means of expression, fermentation, enfleurage process or extraction. The most
commonly applied method of obtaining oils on a commercial scale is steam distillation (Van
de Braak and Leijten 1999).
The earliest records of distillation for the purpose of obtaining essential oils come from the
region of Egypt and India, and date back to over 2,000 years ago (Guenther 1948). This
method was improved in the 9th century by Arabs (Bauer et al. 2001). In the 13th century,
the process of distillation was used by pharmacists and the pharmacological properties of
essential oils were described in pharmacopoeia (Bauer et al. 2001). However, essential oils
were widely used in Europe only from the 16th century (Crosthwaite 1998). According to
French doctor – Du Chesne (Quercetanus), the practice of extracting essential oils was
popular in the 17th century, and the pharmacies of the day offered 15–20 oils obtained from
various plant species (Guenther 1948).
Due to rapid progress in molecular biology and natural sciences, the knowledge on
essential oils, their synthesis and extraction continues to increase. There has been a growing
interest in the potential application of the natural plant compounds, including lavender
essential oils, in alternative medicine, clinical and medical microbiology, phytopathology,
aromatheraphy, pharmacy and pharmacology (Daferera et al. 2000; Woronuk et al. 2011), as
well as for preservation of food (Gómez-Estaca et al. 2010) and cosmetic products (Kunicka-
-Styczyńska et al. 2009; Dreger and Wielgus 2013).
METHODS OF ESSENTIAL OILS EXTRACTION
Essential oil of the Lavandula spp. genus is produced in the secretory glands (also known
as secretory trichomes or essential oil glands) located between the fine hairs covering the
flowers, leaves as well as stems. The oil can be isolated both from fresh as well as dry
flowers, and the green parts of the lavender plant (leaves). The efficiency of the process is
greater when it is performed with the use of flowers as raw material (13.9–15.3 mg ∙ g
weight). The oil obtained from this part of the plant is rich in linalool and linalool acetate,
whereas the amount of oil obtained from lavender leaves, rich in camphor and borenol,
ranges from 0.7–2.9 mg ∙ g
of fresh weight (Falk et al. 2009).
The best quality oil is derived from Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula stoechas even
though its concentration in plant tissue is the lowest. The oil yield is estimated to be 40 kg
per herctare (Lis-Balchin 2002). In turn, oil used for the production of cheaper perfumes is
derived from Lavandula latifolia in the amount of 50 kg per hectare. Since 1920, lavender
hybrids characterised by high amounts of essential oils in plant tissues (to 120 kg ∙ ha
been cultivated on a commercial scale, despite the lower quality of the oils (Wyckoff and
Sievers 1935). The most popular lavender hybrid is transgenic lavandula, produced by cross-
breeding of Lavandula latifolia with Lavandula angustifolia (Cavanagh and Wilkinson 2002).
The oil obtained from this hybrid is called lavandin oil and, due to high concentration of
camphor, it is rarely used in the perfume industry or for therapeutic purposes. Due to its
antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties, the oil can be used for the purpose of
preservation of products (Lis-Balchin 2002).
Lavandula spp. essential oils… 9
On a commercial scale, lavender oils are obtained by means of steam distillation
(Zheljazkov et al. 2013) which produce higher ratio of alpha terpineol, linalool and linalyl
acetate than supercritical fluid extraction (SFE method) (Hawthorne et al. 1993; Jin and Ha
2005). The research by Zheljakov et al. (2013) provides data on the influence of the duration
of distillation on the obtained lavender oil yield and its composition. The distillation times
under analysis were: 1.5; 3; 3.75; 7.5; 15; 30; 60; 90; 120; 150; 180 and 240 min. The
highest efficiency of oil distillation in the range of 0.5–6.8% was found for distillation time
60 min. The concentration of cineol in the range of 6.4–35% and fenchol 1.7–2.9% was the
highest for distillation time 1.5 min, and decreased with distillation time. The concentration of
camphor in the range 6.6–9.2% reached maximum after 7.5–15 min, and the concentration
of linalool acetate (15–38%) after 30 min. The results of this research show that there is no
increase in the amount of obtained lavender essential oil after more than 60 min of
distillation. However, according to Wesołowska et al. (2010), the maximum efficiency of the
distillation process (2% essential oil Lavandula angustifolia Mill.) is achieved after 2 h, and
the minimal oil yield (1%) is obtained after 40 min of distillation.
Extraction of oils by means of microwave radiation is also mentioned in the literature on
the subject (Craveiro et al. 1989; Luque de Castro et al. 1999; Périno-Issartier et al. 2013).
A method has been developed for obtaining lavender essential oils by microwave
accelerated steam distillation (MASD). Dried lavender flowers were placed over the source of
steam produced with the use of microwave heating. MASD method was compared with the
classic steam distillation and both were used to obtain essential oils from narrow-leaved
lavender. MASD method proved to be superior than the tradition method in terms of energy
consumption, rate of the process (MASD – 10 min, steam distillation – 90 min), efficiency
(MASD – 8.86%, steam distillation – 8.75%), purity and quality of the oils (Chemat et al. 2006).
USE OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are used in a wide range of specialised industries and production of
lavender essential oils is one of the highest in the world. For centuries, it has been used for
therapeutic purposes (Cavanagh and Wilkinson 2002) and in aromatherapy (Welsh 1997;
Moss et al. 2003; Lehrner et al. 2005; Setzer 2009). The oils derived from Lavandula
stoechas and Lavandula dentata have spasmolytic properties and are used in folk medicine
(Khalil et al. 1979; Gilani et al. 2000). Lavender oils are used in the treatment of illness of the
digestive system and thanks to content of cumarin, herniarin and acidic triterpenoids it
alleviates flatulence, colic symptoms as well as has relaxant effects on ileum and smooth
muscles (Lis-Balchin and Hart 1997, 1999). In vitro studies showed that lavender oil has
analgesic properties (Skoglund and Jorkjed 1991), and testing in rabbits confirmed its
anaesthetizing effects (Ghelardini et al. 1999).
Fragments of Lavandula angustifolia plants, used as dried product as well as extracts and
plant hydrolates, are widely used in Europe and in the United States for treatment of mild
anxiety and stress (Bradley et al. 2007). It has been demonstrated that the plant has
soothing properties on airways, both in people and in animals (Lis-Balchin and Hart 1999).
Hydrolates contain numerous valuable water-soluble substances as well as slight amounts of
10 D. Andrys and D. Kulpa
oil – from 0.02% to 0.5%. Therefore, hydrolates, including lavender hydrolate, have sedative
as well as refreshing effects and are used in the treatment of insomnia and headache.
Moreover, lavender hydrolate has beneficial effects on skin and is used in the treatment of
diseases of the skin and burns (Stanojević et al. 2011). However, some ingredients of the
lavender essential oil obtained from Lavandula may trigger allergic reactions. It is believed
that D-limonene, geraniol, linalool and linalyl acetate are potentially allergenic compounds
(Jin and Ha 2005) which have strong anti-microbiological effects and can irritate the skin
(Pattnaik et al. 1997; Arputhabibiana et al. 2012).
It has been known for centuries that essential oils derived from herbal plants have some
antimicrobial properties, yet the efficiency of oils was scientifically proven only relatively
recently (Deans and Ritchie 1987; Janssen et al. 1987). The ingredients of essential oils of
narrow-leaved lavender such as linalool, linalyl acetate, α-terpineol, geranyl acetate and
cumarin (Kreis and Mosandl 1992; Figueiredo et al. 1995; Flores et al. 2005) exhibit strong
antbacterial properties (Cole 1992; Adam et al. 1998; Mayaud et al. 2008; De Rapper et al.
2013), antifungal (D'Auria et al. 2005; De Rapper et al. 2013) and antioxidant effects
(Spiridon et al. 2011; Hamad et al. 2013).
The activity of lavender oil on microorganisms present on human skin was thoroughly
examined and its high activity against these pathogens was confirmed (Farag et al. 1989,
Paster et al. 1990; Adam et al. 1998; Smith-Palmer et al. 1998). Adaszyńska et al. (2013)
demonstrated astrong effect of oils isolated from ‘Blue River’ and ‘Munstead’ cultivars of
narrow-leaved lavender against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
bacteria. The activity of lavender oils on these bacteria was confirmed by Kunicka-
-Styczyńska et al. (2011). Antibacterial properties of essential oils isolated from narrow-
-leaved lavender were demonstrated also against Micrococcus ascoformans, Proteus
vulgaris (Hui et al. 2010) and Escherichia coli (Mayaud et al. 2008). Moreover, essential oils
inhibit bacterial growth of Salmonella enteritidis, Klebsiella pneumoniae as well as fungi –
Candidia albicans and Aspergillus niger (Hammer et al. 1999). Essential oils derived from
Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia show strong anti-parasitic properties
against human pathogens – Giardia duodenalis and Trichomas vaginalis protozoa, and
Hexamita inflate in fish (Moon et al. 2006).
Lavender essential oils can be widely used in agriculture. The oils are used for the
purpose of combating plant pathogens such as Botryris cinerea (Thanassoulopoulos and
Laidou 1997; Reddy et al. 1998; Pavela 2005) or Rhizopus stolonifer (Reddy et al. 1998).
Moreover, oils also have herbicidal properties and the essential oil of Lavandula
angustifolia offers an alternative to synthetic herbicide as it inhibits germination of Xantium
strumarium L., Avena sterilis L. and Phalaris brachystachys L. (Uremis 2009). Haig et al. (2009)
argue that the ingredients of lavender oils such as cumarin and 7-metoxycumarin show
strong phytotoxic effects on annual ryegrass (Loliumrigidum).
Also, there is a growing interest in perillyl alcohol – monoterpene produced in trace
quantities by Lavandula angustifolia, which shows chemotherapeutic properties (Perrucci
et al. 1994; Schulz et al. 1994; Hohl 1996). It was found that lavender extract can inhibit
growth of tumour cells (Stanojević et al. 2011).
Lavandula spp. essential oils… 11
Lavender oil is used in food industry for the purpose of aromatisation of beverages, ice
cream, sweets, pastries and chewing gum (Kim and Lee 2002). Lavender extracts are used
for the same purpose due to their nutraceutical properties which additionally have beneficial
effects on health. Aqueous extracts of Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula stoechas
contain a strong tyrosinase inhibitor and can be used as a food bleaching agent (Hsu et al.
2007). Additionally, oils have inhibitory effects on microorganisms and prevent food spoilage
(Thompson 1989; Basilico and Basilico 1999). Lavender oil shows strong antioxidant activity
against lipid peroxidation in a model system of linoleic acid (Hui et al. 2010). The most
common method for determining antioxidant activity is DPPH method. Oils obtained from
Lavandula angustifolia shows strong antioxidant properties which suggests that lavender oils
can be used as an efficient antioxidant compound (Hamad et al. 2013). Addition of Lavandula
vera extract to minced chicken meat decreases lipid oxidation and loss of α-tocopherol
during storage of cooked meat (Kovatcheva-Apostolova et al. 2008).
COMPOSITION OF LAVENDER OILS
Plant essential oils of Lavandula sp. are volatile and aromatic oily substances composed
of mixtures of volatile components synthesized by plants, including primarily two groups of
biosynthetically related compounds such as terperns C10-C15 – derivatives of isoprene,
aromatic terpenoids and aliphatic compounds with low molecular weight (Cosentino et al.
1999; Daferera et al. 2000; Landmann et al. 2007; Da Porto et al. 2009; Bertoli et al. 2011).
There can be from 20 to even as much as 100 components present in oils in various
concentrations. One characteristic aspect is that two or three of the components may be
present in high concentration, whereas the others are present only in trace quantities.
The characteristic lavender aroma of essential oils is attributed to monoterpenes of low
molecular weight (C10). The essential oils obtained from Lavandula angustifolia characterised
by high concentration of linalool/linalyl acetate and low of camphor are considered to have
the most beautiful fragrance and are the most desired oils used in aromatherapy and
cosmetic industry. Oils obtained from other species of lavender contain high concentrations
of terpens, including high content of camphor, which results in less pleasant fragrance
(Lynam and Smith 2009).
Researchers found various concentrations and number of compounds in different species
of lavender. With the use of GC-MS method Hussain et al. (2011) found 56 compounds in
Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. According to Wesołowska et al. (2010), oils of Lavandula
angustifolia Mill. have the highest content of linalool (28.78–30.68%), linalyl acetate
(12.35–17.67%) and α-terpineol (7.57–11.49%) among the indentified compounds (from 43 to 47).
Adaszyńska et al. (2011, 2013) conducted GC-MS analysis of essential oils isolated from
lavender cultivars: ‘Munstead’, ‘Munstead Strain’, ‘Lavender Lady’, ‘Ellegance Purple’, ‘Blue
River’. In all cultivars the same compounds were identified, however in various concentrations.
The number of identified compounds was from 18 to 21. The main components of oils were:
linalool (23.9–15.8%), linalyl anthranilate (12.3–1.6%), 1-terpinen-4-ol (9.7–5.5%), terpineol
(p-Menth-1-en-8-ol) (7.9–4.0%) and linalool oxide (4.7–1.1%). According to Cong et al. (2008),
there are 17 compounds derived from Lavandula angustifolia. The highest concentration was
found for linalool (44.54%), geraniol (11.02%), lavandulyl acetate (10.78%), 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-
-octadien-1-ol (10.35%) and isoterpineol (6.75%).
12 D. Andrys and D. Kulpa
Table 1. Main compounds of the essential oils from some of the most important Lavandula spp.
Tabela 1. Główne składniki olejków eterycznych najważniejszych gatunków Lavandula spp.
L. dentata Algeria N U 1,8-cineole (38.4%), cis-verbenol
(4.3%), p-cymen-8-ol (3.8%),
et al. (2005)
Morocco N A 1, 8 cineol (41.3%), sabinene
(13.7%), bicycle [3.1.0] hexan-3-Ol,
(6.8%), myrtenal (5.1%), α-pinene
et al. (2009)
Yemen N A camphor (12.4%), trans-pinocarveol
(7.5%), β-eudesmol (7.1%), α-guiaol
(6.1%), β-Selinene (4.5%)
et al. (2012)
L.x intermedia Turkey C F linalool (34.8–41.8%), linalyl acetate
(29.5–42.5%), borneol (1.7–5.1%),
cymene (1.5–3.3%), geraniol
Spain C F and A Linalool (35–51 %), eucalyptol
(26–32 %), camphor (10–18 %),
α-pinene (1–2 %),α-terpineol (1–2 %)
et al. (2016)
L. latifolia Spain N F and A cineol (20.8-54.6%), camphor
(11.4-43.5%), borneol (0.9–2.7%)
et al. (2007)
L. multifida Tunisia C A linalool (50.1%), camphene (10.1%),
linalyl acetate (7.3%), α-thujene
(3.8%), bornyl acetate (3.0%)
et al. (2012)
L. pedunculata Portugal N A camphor (32.4%), 1,8-cineole (24%),
α-pinene (6.9%), linalool (5.2%),
et al. 2010
L. pinnata Madeira C A β-phellandrene (12–32%),
et al. (1995)
L. stoechans Turkey C F fenchon (32.0%), camphor (14.7%),
myrtenyl acetate (11.7%),
1,8-cineole (7.7%), α-pinen (2.9%)
et al. (2008)
India C F camphor (52.1%), fenchone (12.0%),
1,8-cineole (9.7%), bornyl acetate
(6.2%), camphene (3.3%)
Romania C F camphor (32.7%), 1,8-cineole
(26.9%), borneol (7.1%),
caryophyllene (4.9%), α-bisabolol
et al. (2013)
L. viridis L'Hér Portugal C A 1.8-cineole (21.9%), camphor
(15.7%), α-pinene (10.3%), linalool
(5.3%), borneol (4.1%)
Portugal C A 1,8-cineole (34.5 %–42.2 %),
camphor (13.4 %), α-pinene (9.0 %),
linalool (7.9–6.7 %)
et al. (2011)
N – natural condition – warunki naturalne, C – field-grown – warunki uprawne, F – flowers – kwiaty, A – aerial
parts – części nadziemne, U – unknown – nieznane.
Lavandula spp. essential oils… 13
Table 2. Main compounds of the Lavandula angustifolia essential oils includes country of origin
Tabela 2. Główne związki olejków eterycznych Lavandula angustifolia z uwzględnieniem kraju pochodzenia
Country of origin
Brazil U F 1,8-cineole (28.3%), camphor (28.0%),
isoborneol (9.9%), α-phellandrene (5.7%),
et al. (2004)
Bulgaria C F linalool (18.7–34.4%), linalool acetate
(20.7–32.7%), lavandulyl acetate (2.5–7.00%),
caryophyllene (1.00–3.8%), geranyl acetate
et al. (2013)
China C U linalool (37.6%), linalyl acetate (35.8%),
terpinen-4-ol (4.5%), lavandulyl acetate (4.1%)
et al. (2006)
Greece C F linalool (50.6%), linalyl acetate (15.7%),
terpinen-4-ol (7.8%), (Z)-β-ocimene (4.3%),
et al. (2003)
Greece U U linalool (44.5%), linalyl acetate (32.7%),
terpinen-4-ol (6.9%), 1,8-cineole (4.8%),
et al. (2000)
France U U linalyl acetate (36.0%), linalool (34.0%),
β-caryophyllene (4.5%), terpinen-4-ol (1.7%)
et al. (2009)
India C F linalyl acetate (47.6 %), linalool (28.1 %),
lavandulyl acetate (4.3 %), α-terpineol (3.7%)
et al. (2010)
India U U linalyl acetate (45.2%), linalool (27.1%),
β-caryophyllene (4.6%), p-cymene (2.8%),
α-terpineol (2.2%), limonene (1.2%)
et al. (2010)
India C F linalyl acetate (35.8%), linalool (23.6%),
α-terpineol (6.3%), lavandulyl acetate (4.8%),
Raina and Negi
Iran N A 1,8-cineole (37.9%), borneol (21.6%), camphor
(21.3%), cryptone (2.6%), cumin aldehyde (2.3%)
et al. (2011)
Iraq N F linalool (24.6%), camphor (13.6%), linalyl
acetate (8.9%), (Z)-β-ocimene (7.6%),
et al. (2013)
Italy N F linalool (36–36.5%), linalyl acetate
(21.7–14.4%), camphor (5.6–11.8%), 1,8-cineole
(4.0–10.9%), terpinen-4-ol (2.1–6.6%)
et al. (2009)
Italy U U linalool (23.1%), linalyl acetate (23.1%), 1,8-
-cineole (8.4%), camphor (6.6%), borneol (5.0%)
et al. (2008)
Poland C F linalool (30.6%), linalyl acetate (14.2%), geraniol
(5.3%), β-caryophyllene (4.7%), lavandulyl
et al. (2009)
Poland C F linalool (24.6%), linalyl acetate (14.4%), borneol
(6.2%), caryophyllene oxide (5.2%), lavandulyl
acetate (3.5%), α-terpineol (3.5%)
et al. (2013)
Poland C F linalool (28.8–30.7%), linalyl acetate (12.3–17.7%),
α-terpineol (7.6–11.5%), cis-linalool oxide
(5.3–5.8%), lavandulyl acetate (2.4–3.2%)
et al. (2010)
Romania C F caryophyllene (24.1%), β-phellandrene (16%),
1,8-cineole (15.6%), terpinen-4-ol (9.57%),
et al. (2013)
Serbia C F linalyl acetate (27.5%), linalool (27.2%),
limonene (8.5%), lavandulyl acetate (6.5%)
et al. (2007)
Spain C F linalool (29.9–35.4%), camphor (4.9–6.9%),
borneol (3.7–4.7%), 1-8-cineole (1.9–4.2%),
Tunisia C U linalool (38.0%), 1,8-cineole (11.1%), terpinen-4-ol
(8.2%), borneol (8.0%), (Z)-β-ocimene (3.6%)
et al. (2014)
N – natural condition – warunki naturalne, C – field-grown – warunki uprawne, F – flowers – kwiaty, A – aerial
parts – części nadziemne, U – unknown – nieznane.
14 D. Andrys and D. Kulpa
The analysis of oil isolated from plant tissues of the same species, conducted by Xie et al.
(2002), showed 21 compounds, and the highest concentration was found for linalool, linalyl
acetate, and 3-cyclohexon-1-ol, 4-methyl-1-(1methylbythyl).
The composition of essential oils is determined mainly by the plant genotype (Nurzyńska-
-Wierdak et al. 2012), yet developmental and environmental factors can also play a role
(Boeckelmann 2008). GC-MS method was used to analyse the composition of essential oils
derived from Lavandula species from different parts of the world: Algeria (Dob et al. 2005),
Bulgaria (Ognyanov 1984), China (Cong et al. 2008), India (Verma et al. 2010), Iraq (Hamad
et al. 2013), Yemen (Mothana et al. 2012), Morocco (Imelouane et al. 2009), Poland
(Śmigielski et al. 2009), and Turkey (Kara and Baydar 2013) (Table 1). The research show
that the composition of essential oils varies depending on the region of origin. Even essential
oils derived from Lavandula angustifolia growing in various regions show difference in
composition (Table 2).
GENETIC BASIS OF ESSENTIAL OILS PRODUCTION
The production of essential oils by lavender is to a large extent attributed to the fact that
this genus belongs to Lamiaceae family. Even though the composition of essential oils is
determined by environmental factors (such as temperature, the length of the day) as well as
agricultural practices (for example irrigation, fertilisation), it is the genotype of the plant that
affects the composition of the oils produced by a plant to the greatest extent (Kokkini et al.
1997; Boira and Blanquer 1998; Russo et al. 1998).
In order to determine some mechanisms controlling monoterpene compounds, their
content in tissues of Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia were measured. The
results confirmed that efficiency of oil and the content of camphor, borneol, linalool and
limonene are species-specific. During the flowering of lavender, the content of monoterpene
compounds varies and there are some differences in their biosynthesis pathway. The amount
of produced linalool is correlated with linalool synthase gene transcription, however there is a
difference in L. angustifolia and L. x intermedia synthase transcription, and, consequently in
the mechanisms controlling the production of linalool in these species (Boeckelmann 2008).
Biosynthesis of monoterpene compounds starts with condensation of isopentenyldiphosphate
(IPP) and dimethylallyldiphosphate (DMAPP) and gives the basic intermediate product –
geranyldiphoshate (GPP, in. C10). Monoterpene synthase enzyme (mTPSs) transforms GPP
to a respective monoterpene. In some cases, monoterpene production is directly correlated
with the activity of transcription of respective monoterpene synthase enzymes (MTP).
Linalool accrued in L. angustifolia correlates with the level of linalool synthase gene
transcription (Lane et al. 2010).
For the purpose of constructing genomic library of Lavandula, Demissie et al. (2011)
obtained more than 14.000 EST (expressed sequence tag) for leaves and flowers of L.
angustifolia used in the production of essential oil. They determined the series of previously
uncharacterized terpene synthase genes (TPS).
Construction of cDNA library of leaves and flowers of L. angustifolia was undertaken
earlier by Lane et al. (2010). Lavandula angustifolia was previously used as a model plant for
Lavandula spp. essential oils… 15
the purpose of investigating the processes behind essential oil production at a molecular
level. The construction of two cDNA libraries, separately for leaves and flowers, gave
information on 14.213 high quality specific expression markers (ESTs). Transcriptional
activity for EST was evaluated with the use of microarray in the development of leaves and
flowers. The results of the analysis indicate the presence of two previously uncharacterised
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Abstract. Lavender is mainly used in medicine, cosmetics industry, aromatherapy, perfume
industry and as a culinary herb. It is most often grown for the purpose of obtaining essential oils
characterized by a pleasant fragrance as well as antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant
properties. The present paper is an overview of information on essential oils obtained from plant
tissue of the Lavandula genus, including the methods of extraction, chemical composition and
potential use. The chemical composition of plant oil is determined by various parameters such
as environmental conditions, growing season, harvest time, methods of drying and storing until
the time of oil extraction, method of oil isolation as well as the specific conditions of the analysis
(column, set temperature) used to identify the compounds.