Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 741–768 | Cite as

The genus Pinus: a comparative study on the needle essential oil composition of 46 pine species

  • Efstathia Ioannou
  • Aikaterini Koutsaviti
  • Olga Tzakou
  • Vassilios RoussisEmail author


The fresh needles of 46 pine species, including 37 and 17 taxa of the subgenera Pinus and Strobus, respectively, were subjected to hydrodistillation and the essential oils obtained were analyzed by means of GC–FID and GC–MS. The comprehensive analyses of the needle oils, which allowed for the identification of 161 constituents comprising the majority of the volatiles, showed significant, not only quantitative, but also qualitative differences between the samples. Monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes dominated the pine foliage oils, with the presence of the monoterpene hydrocarbons α- and β-pinene and the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon germacrene D characterizing most of the oils. This is the first report on the chemical composition of the essential oils of 21 pine taxa, including 15 taxa of subgenus Pinus and 6 taxa of subgenus Strobus.


Chemical composition Essential oil Gas chromatography Needle volatiles Pinus 



We thank the staff of the various botanical gardens for their assistance in the collection of the pine needles.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efstathia Ioannou
    • 1
  • Aikaterini Koutsaviti
    • 1
  • Olga Tzakou
    • 1
  • Vassilios Roussis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, School of PharmacyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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